Erik ten Hag delivered an honest assessment of Donny van de Beek’s performance against Real Sociedad, claiming that there is more to come from the midfielder.
Van de Beek has endured a tough time at United since signing under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the summer of 2020, failing to nail down a spot in the first-team despite arriving with much fanfare.
It was widely anticipated that the Dutchman would play a key role for United, but two years on, he has failed to improve on rotation status and been unable to make any lasting impact in the team.
Many believed that Ten Hag’s arrival to Old Trafford would be the catalyst for Van de Beek this season, but injury has derailed the first portion of his 2022/23 campaign. Afforded a rare start in United’s final Europa League group stage game, Ten Hag commented on his display.
“He had a good preseason and then got injured, now he is back,” Ten Hag said after the 1-0 win, contextualising his tough start to the season: “I think it was a decent performance [against Sociedad] but he can do better. I know him very well [from Ajax].
“He delivered what I expected in terms of positioning, pressing and in the transition. I can only talk about him [at United] from my time here and I think he can do more.”
Van de Beek arrived having previously been nominated for the 2019 Ballon d’Or, following exceptional form at Ajax under Ten Hag. Since then, though, he’s managed just 55 appearances for United, been sent on loan to Everton and dropped out of the Dutch national team picture.