Donny van de Beek struggled to make an impression during his first campaign with Manchester United – but he has grabbed his teammates’ attention thanks to his pre-season work this summer
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Donny van de Beek’s pre-season gym work has caught the attention of his Manchester United teammates, according to reports.
Van de Beek, 24, struggled during his first season at Old Trafford and has sought to address this over the summer with a tailor-made training programme in his native Netherlands.
The midfielder made just four starts in the Premier League with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appearing to prefer his more combative and physical players in the centre of the park.
But Van de Beek is determined to make the grade in England and has worked fiercely to build a larger frame ahead of the new campaign.
That’s according to The Athletic , which claims Van de Beek’s efforts have impressed his Red Devils colleagues.
They cite a source who claims the Dutch international seems more confident during training sessions at United’s Carrington base.
Van de Beek is also said to have a renewed ‘hunger and fire’, while ‘even his eyes look happier’ compared to the dejected figure he often cut at the end of the 2020/21 season.
The report notes Van de Beek did not have the chance to focus on building muscle last season due to the congested fixture schedule.
He arrived at United in early September after an initial £35million fee was agreed with Ajax, but the Red Devils were competing on multiple fronts throughout the entire campaign on account of their run to the Europa League final.
Pre-season has presented Van de Beek with the opportunity to put the hours in at the gym, and he enrolled at the famous FysioConcept training centre in Amsterdam.
Previously utilised by the likes of Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart, FysioConcept prescribed Van de Beek with nutrition and workout plans with a view to building a more-imposing frame.
His work in the facility has paid dividends and United captain Harry Maguire is among those to note his larger frame during pre-season.
Van de Beek skippered the Red Devils for the final 15 minutes of their 2-2 friendly draw with Brentford last Wednesday and Maguire took to Instagram to write: “Don’t stretch that armband,” with an eyes emoji.
In response, Van de Beek hit back with winking and laughing faces, as well as a flexed arm emoji.
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Van de Beek hopes the result of his gym exertions will impress Solskjaer just as it has his teammates.
The Norwegian manager is understood to want to play a 4-3-3 this season, veering away from the 4-2-3-1 he has used for most of his time in the Old Trafford dugout.
This could be good news for Van de Beek, who seems himself as a natural box-to-box midfielder rather than a No. 10, having deputised for Bruno Fernandes in the latter role last season.