Erik Ten Hag outlines new Manchester United plan for Donny Van de Beek
Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag has revealed the Dutch midfielder’s best position at the club ahead of the upcoming season. The 25-year-old has had a mixed season since joining the club two years ago.
It wasn’t really known why he struggled to start games on a regular basis in his debut season, but it certainly baffled many. After all, he didn’t come cheap and was one of Ajax’s star players under ten Hag.
It has been no secret that the former Ajax player was unable to establish his name in the starting XI under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Under Ralf Rangnick, he started well but soon started warming the bench. He then saw a bit more playing time under Frank Lampard in his loan spell at Everton.
But even that move turned out to be underwhelming. The defensive midfielder has managed to play just 50 games for the club and he will be hoping to be a key player under the Dutch manager.
Donny Van de Beek has returned to the training session and was also part of the squad that played against Liverpool. Speaking in his pre-match press conference as quoted by Manchester Evening News, Erik Ten Hag was asked about the player’s best position at Manchester United, for which he replied:
“He can do both. I know that from the past, but his best position, his best capability is in the box of the opponent. Playing short behind the striker, he has a really good smell of being in the right position.”
It is safe to say that the 25-year-old midfielder has had his best years under the Dutch manager. The pair had reached the semi-final stage of the Champions League and also won the league double during his time at Ajax.
In his most successful campaign, the former Ajax player was able to score 17 goals and provide 13 assists in the 2018/19 season. Under Ten Hag, he used to be deployed as a central or an attacking midfielder and has hence, been very comfortable in that position.
Bruno Fernandes has been given the role play as a No.10 in the majority of games over the past two seasons but there could be a place in central midfield, given the exits of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic.
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However, it would be interesting to see how the manager fits Donny into the starting XI to make the best use of his abilities.