Former Netherlands manager Bert van Marwijk has laid the blame at Manchester United’s players for overlooking Donny van de Beek in his time at Old Trafford so far.
The 23-year-old has struggled in his first season at Man Utd, despite previously looking a hugely exciting young talent during his time at former club Ajax.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has barely given Van de Beek any playing time, with the Dutchman once again an unused substitute for the weekend clash with Chelsea.
It remains to be seen if Van de Beek can turn things around for himself, but Van Marwijk seems to think he’s going to continue to struggle due to the system in place at United, and the fact that his team-mates are overlooking him on the pitch.
“I think Donny van den Beek is an excellent football player,” Van Marwijk wrote in his column for De Telegraaf.
“He has excellent functional technique and despite his young age, he already has the insight to usually make the right choices. He also has a great running ability.
“So, I understand that Manchester United paid him some £35m last summer. Only he plays far too little. On Sunday he was again on the bench for 90 minutes in the big match against Chelsea.
“How is that possible? Van de Beek is not suddenly a bad football player or someone who could not handle the level. I think that is why it is not a matter of too little quality, but that other things are also involved in a different environment.
“There, the spaces he is looking for between midfield and defence of the opposing team are missing or his teammates let the moment pass by.
“His well-timed runs are not recognised there. So, this is also the problem for him.
“He is an excellent player, but at the same time he is dependent on his teammates and the position play that brings his team to the pitch.
“The same position play that made him so strong at Ajax is not there at Manchester United.
“In order to succeed and survive abroad, it seems that something else is necessary. Then you will also have to have or develop other qualities.
“If your teammates overlook you and the game is not aligned with you, you will also need to be able to find your way.
“Then that good team player will have to think more about themselves and also have the technical and tactical qualities to make the difference on their own.”
United fans will surely be hoping to see Van de Beek get more opportunities soon, or else he’s surely going to become the latest in a long line of surprise flop signings, following the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Angel Di Maria, Alexis Sanchez and Memphis Depay.
As with most of those, one imagines Van de Beek could end up looking a top player again after leaving MUFC and joining a team better suited to his playing style.