Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has admitted that he wouldn’t be shocked to see Donny Van de Beek leave the club after struggling to make an impact at Old Trafford.
Van de Beek signed from Ajax in a £40m deal in the summer and was widely expected to compete for a role in the starting lineup, adding quality strength in depth.
Since joining the United the Dutchman has made 20 appearances but started just eight times, including just twice in the Premier League. This has led to talk over his future at the club less than six months after signing, and former Manchester United striker Berbatov wouldn’t be surprised if he left as quickly as he came.
Speaking to Betfair, the Bulgarian said: “I don’t know what is going on with Donny van de Beek – I said before he signed that I like him as a player, he was great for Ajax and his national team, but now he can’t get a game at United.
“I can see that his confidence isn’t high at the moment, and that’s normal because when you don’t play you start punishing yourself and ask questions of yourself. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is starting to look for the exit and nobody will blame him. Something isn’t working.”
While it’s highly unlikely that the player is allowed to leave the club during the January transfer window, if his current lack of game time continues then a summer switch is possible.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer moved recently to reassure the player, stating that he expected Van de Beek to become important in the future.
“He [Van de Beek] has come in, he is in a midfield group there with quality — I have loads of tens, loads of central midfielders with Paul [Pogba], Nemanja [Matić], Scott [McTominay] and Fred and Donny has done well when he has come in.
“Donny has played well when he has had the chance. I think we are too quick sometimes to jump on ‘Oh, he’s not playing, it’s a failure’, but you know we can see now.
“With Victor [Lindelöf] and Fred, as examples, it takes a little bit of time and now they are massively important players in our squad, in our team, which will be the same with Donny. He is always ready, he always works hard in training, positive and he will make differences in many games for us this season but he will grow more and more for next year.”