Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has given his verdict on Donny van de Beek after the Dutchman earned a rare start against Liverpool in the 3-2 FA Cup win over the weekend.
Van de Beek put in a decent performance after getting the nod from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but the jury is still out on the midfielder, who has not played the amount of games he would have hoped for when he completed his summer switch from boyhood club Ajax to Manchester United.
Chadwick admits Van de Beek could struggle to get into the team due to United’s current form, with both Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba shining in the centre of the pitch and contributing to the goals scored every week.
Fernandes came off the bench against Liverpool to score a match-winning free-kick, but Chadwick believes Van de Beek can improve by looking at his teammate’s all-round game.
“I thought he (Van de Beek) was fine, he looked tidy on the ball but you can see that he’s not playing at full tilt or full confidence,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside.
“I’m not sure he’s really found his feet in terms of United’s style of play — passing forward quickly. He’s an extremely technical player in that Ajax mould where they dominate possession in almost every game in the Dutch league. He’s more than happy to keep the ball ticking over, whereas when Bruno Fernandes plays you can see that but more edge to it, always looking for the forward pass, looking to start attacks, break the lines and get in behind the opposition defence.
“I think there’s still a lot of work for Van de Beek to do to find his feet, but obviously to do that he needs to play.
“The team seems to be in the best place they’ve been all season in terms of results and performances, so it’s going to be a struggle for him to get into that Premier League team at the moment, particularly with the way Paul Pogba’s playing and with what Fernandes offers the team. Hopefully in the next round against West Ham we’ll see him play again, finding his feet and taking steps forward and making that mark we all know he’s capable of doing at the club.”
Being on a winning side against Liverpool is valuable experience for Van de Beek, so we can take plenty of positives away from his performance on Sunday in the FA Cup. It’s not something he had in his locker before becoming a United player and it’s something he will take with him into each game going forward.
I expect to see more of Van de Beek next season and think he’s been a brilliant addition for the squad because it’s clear that we are improving.