Man Utd outcast sends clear message to Erik ten Hag

Donny van de Beek says he is ready to help Manchester United in any way he can after fully recovering from injury.

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Big things were expected of the midfielder when he moved from Ajax to Old Trafford in 2020 for £35million, but he never seemed to be part of then-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans.

He struggled for game-time and was even shipped out on loan to Everton last season, but it was hoped that the arrival of his former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag would rejuvenate his career.

That has not proven to be the case however, with Van de Beek rarely featuring in pre-season before making just a handful of cameo appearances from the bench that has amounted to just 30 minutes of football.

A lengthy knock has ruled him out for much of the season though he returned to action in United’s most recent Europa League game against FC Sheriff.

Now that he has returned to full fitness Van de Beek hopes he can return to first-team contention, telling United’s official website: ‘To be injured is the most difficult thing for a player.

‘You want to be on the pitch, around the guys in the stadium, feel the grass and, yeah, it’s a hard time if you are injured. I’m happy to be back and have to stay fit for a longer time and just try to help the team.

‘I feel great, I feel good and what I’m saying is I just need to keep going and, if chances come, I have to take them.

‘It [playing an attacking role] is also one of the points how I can maybe help the team, play in between the lines and make my runs with the ball, give some passes. I just do my best and have to stay fit and just help the team.’

25-year-old Van de Beek has been named in the Red Devils’ starting XI for their crucial Europa League clash at Real Sociedad.

They must beat the Spanish side by two goals or more to finish top of their group and qualify for the competition’s last-16, but failure to do so will see them enter the play-off round where they’ll face one of the teams dropping down from the Champions League.

Potential opponents include European heavyweights Barcelona, Juventus and Ajax.

‘Yes, I think we have the qualities to do that,’ Van de Beek added when asked if United could achieve their main objective against Real Sociedad.

‘We have enough players in the squad who can score goals and also need clean defending because we can’t concede too many goals. So everything has to be good on Thursday.

‘They have a good team as well but we do also. We have to show it on Thursday and put a lot of energy into the game and we also need clean defending and score two more goals than them.’

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