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An injury to Paul Pogba has handed Donny van de Beek the perfect opportunity to determine whether he wants to stay at Manchester United or force a transfer in January. With Pogba expected to be sidelined for the next few months, if the Dutchman still isn’t able to make an impact for the Red Devils then the writing may be on the wall for the midfielder.
Van de Beek joined the Red Devils for £40million last summer but his opportunities at the club have been scarce.
The 24-year-old has played just 17 minutes of Premier League football this season and many are questioning why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer even purchased the midfielder from Ajax in the first place.
Instead of playing Van de Beek, Solskjaer has opted for his controversial double-pivot of Scott McTominay and Fred, Pogba was previously being played as a makeshift left-winger whilst Marcus Rashford was recovering from shoulder surgery.
But whilst away with Les Bleus, Pogba sustained a thigh injury which may mean that we won’t see the 28-year-old until next year
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Therefore, Solskjaer will be relying on Nemanja Matic and Van de Beek to provide cover for the aforementioned pairing and also be ready to step up when the squad is rotated.
However, given his lack of appearances previously, if Van de Beek still fails to feature then it would be no surprise to see him pleading with the Red Devils to let him leave rather than staying and hampering his career progression further.
Several Premier League clubs were linked with the midfielder over the summer but the Netherlands international revealed that he was instructed to stay by the manager himself as he would have a role to play in the upcoming campaign.
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Understandably, Van de Beek has made his anger at being banished to the bench obvious on several occasions recently, and it has been revealed that his teammates are starting to share his frustration.
According to the Daily Mail, the 2020 signing has the backing of the dressing room, and players are confused as to why Van de Beek hasn’t been given opportunities while Solskjaer has been chopping and changing his squad.
The Norwegian recently abandoned his 4-2-3-1 system in order to play an extra central defender, switching to the 3-4-1-2 formation which many felt was ideal for the ex-Ajax playmaker.
However, three minutes against Atalanta in the Champions League and 10 minutes against City suggests that the opinion isn’t shared by the manager.
If Matic is picked over Van de Beek over the coming weeks then it certainly confirms that he is bottom of the pecking order for the central midfield roles.
Speaking during United’s game against Manchester City last weekend, Gary Neville told Sky Sports: “It’s been the strangest situation watching Donny van de Beek’s Manchester United career, almost disrespectful really. Signed for £40million-odd and not given a chance.
“You can be given a chance and you don’t do well but the boy has hardly played.”
Van de Beek will be able to establish where his future lies before January and it remains to be seen how the situation pans out.
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