Donny van de Beek signed for United this past summer and has had a stop-start beginning to his time at Old Trafford.
The Dutch starlet scored on his debut for the Red Devils, coming off the bench as his team fell to 3-1 defeat against Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
This has been a recurring pattern so far this season, with van de Beek having to settle for cup starts and cameo appearances. The excellence of Bruno Fernandes makes it hard to dispute his continued deployment as the creator-in-chief for the Reds.
Van de Beek, however, brings something different to the side. The young Dutchman’s intelligence and industry mean he can be deployed in a number of positions across the midfield.
Upon closer inspection, perhaps the principal hindrance to the young Dutchman isn’t Bruno Fernandes, but Paul Pogba instead. Van de Beek was originally touted as a replacement for the Frenchman who has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford several times.
United, however, managed to acquire the Dutch starlet from Ajax as well as hold on to their French midfield superstar. This, however, now seems to pose a problem for Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
Pogba’s best position is still a dilemma, and Solskjær seems to have resigned to deploying him as the back-up attacking midfield option. Consequently, Donny seems to have dropped further down the pecking order, which is worrisome.
Pogba, however, seems to be suffering a worrying dip in form, and should Manchester United decide to let go of the Frenchman, they’ve already got a replacement waiting in the wings.
Van de Beek would bring stability and tactical intelligence to United’s midfield, and, has shown the ability to link up well with Fernandes on several occasions this season. He could be the missing piece Solskjær has been looking for.
This is is all, however, speculative, and depends on Pogba’s Old Trafford future as well as United’s recruitment in the coming windows.
Should the Red Devils let Pogba go, and secure the services of a specialist defensive midfielder, then a midfield three which includes their Portuguese talisman, as well as their Dutch starlet, seems a very viable option.
Can van de Beek succeed where Paul Pogba hasn’t? Perhaps he can, should he get the chance. Only time will tell.