Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has admitted to being baffled by how things have gone for Donny van de Beek since his arrival in the summer transfer window.
The Netherlands international shone at Ajax before moving to Old Trafford in a keenly-anticipated deal, but he’s barely featured so far this season, having been limited mostly to appearances from the bench.
Most of the time, however, he doesn’t play at all, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer once again leaving him as an unused substitute in yesterday’s 0-0 draw away to Liverpool.
There seemed an opportunity for Van de Beek to come on and influence the game as Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba both had off-days at Anfield, but there was still no sign of the Dutchman.
Chadwick can’t understand how this has come about, and admits it’s now no longer a surprise to see him snubbed like this.
“I think we’re at the point now where it’s not really a surprise, you don’t really expect him to be in the team or even be the first substitute who comes in,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside.
“He does seem to be a long way down the pecking order and it’s turned into a strange transfer in general. He’s had such a limited amount of game time, he’s had good moments but not influenced games as much as he can.
“His confidence is obviously down and it’s probably not helped that his agent’s coming out and criticised the club. He’s a fantastically talented player but can’t get anywhere near the team at the moment.
“It is such a strange situation. I don’t think I’ve seen it before, in my career, where such a big-name player has come in for such big money and then had such little game time.
“Obviously Fernandes has excelled so he’s not going to play that position, and it seems like Ole doesn’t trust him in one of the holding roles over McTominay and Fred, and if one of them doesn’t play it’s probably Pogba or Matic who comes in. There just doesn’t seem to be a place in the team for him at the moment.
“I can’t imagine he would’ve just joined without the manager fancying him, I’m sure the club would’ve done due diligence and spoken to the manager before signing Van de Beek.
“I think there were people wondering where he’d fit in the team and they’ve certainly been proven right for the moment.
“There’s still half the season to go and hopefully there’s a big part for him to play somewhere down the line.”