Donny van de Beek has been urged to not “throw the towel in” on his Manchester United career just yet in a vote of confidence from international boss Frank De Boer.
The 23-year-old has been included in Netherlands’ squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Turkey, Latvia and Gibraltar this week despite starting just four games for his club side this calendar year.
Van de Beek’s dream move to Old Trafford has been anything but what he thought it would be when he completed his £40million switch from Ajax in the summer as his future is coming under increased scrutiny with every week he is overlooked.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted the Dutchman has a part to play going forward, but he looks unlikely to break into the side on a regular basis until at least next season.
Yet De Boer remains convinced the midfielder will prove his worth at United.
“His situation is more difficult. He is in the early stages of his career. I wouldn’t immediately throw the towel in either,” De Boer said, as reports Voetbal International. “He still wants to show himself.
“I think it is a logical step that he wants to fight in the team. Let’s hope that will happen. I have not had any doubts yet.”
Van de Beek did start in United’s FA Cup defeat to Leicester on Sunday, playing over an hour before being substituted.
But his inclusion in the starting XI has since been questioned, with many believing Bruno Fernandes should have kept his place.
United legend Rio Ferdinand has had his say on the youngster’s predicament and feels van de Beek may have been duped into thinking he would be a regular performer for United.
“I feel for him. I don’t care who you are – if you’re playing the odd two minutes here and there, three minutes here and there, you cannot perform. I don’t care what level of player you are,” Ferdinand told VIBE with FIVE.
“I don’t think he’s been helped in terms of team selection and opportunities so I don’t think it’s fair to say he’s underperforming because he’s not been put in a position to perform yet on a consistent basis.
“I really do feel for him but it would be interesting to hear what he was sold and told on the way in because the lack of opportunities, I don’t think he’d have come here if he’d known that.”
With the European Championships fast approaching, van de Beek is now on limited time to get himself up to speed for the summer tournament, with a lack of minutes still an overarching problem.
And Ferdinand has questioned why Solskjaer felt the need to buy him as he explained the reasons behind his continued omission.
“I think he would add value to this team, definitely. He’s someone who would create goals, he played a part in the goal (versus Leicester). When he gets in the box, he knows how to put the ball in the back of the net,” Ferdinand said.
“But to get in the box he’s got to play in the position where Bruno Fernandes is playing and he’s not going to do that. Can he do it from No.8 position or No.6 when he’s holding? I think he can. He’s intelligent enough.
“Ajax players are brought up to be intelligent footballers, they are able to play multiple positions, he can do that. It’s just obviously United want a stiffer central midfield area behind Bruno.
“I get that, given that’s got to be protecting the centre-backs and that’s not going to be one of Van de Beek’s strengths. But then it begs the question: why buy him then?”