After Frank Lampard was appointed as the new manager at Everton on Deadline Day, the manager had to rush into making some impact signings he thought would help him steer the club into safety and out of the relegation battle.
The former Chelsea boss managed to acquire the services of Manchester United’s Donny van de Beek and Tottenham Hotspur’s Dele Alli, both of whom were facing similar fates at their parent clubs with the pair being outcasts in their teams and struggling for game time, with Lampard offering them both a golden opportunity to prove the doubters wrong.
However, the pair have been less than satisfactory since their arrival at Goodison Park, with Alli only picking up 218 minutes of play over the last four months and Van de Beek hasn’t been much better, although he did make an instant impact on his debut that seemed promising at the time.
The 24-year-old who was criticised for being a “danger” by Casey Stoney won the most possession in the middle third (6), made ten ball recoveries, making the joint-most tackles (4) and aerial duels won (3) against Leeds United but failed to emulate this stand-out performance ever since.
In February, it was reported by The Mirror that the Man United loanee would set out to make his temporary move to Everton permanent and at that point, it looked like a promising prospect for Lampard, but as the months have gone on and time runs down on his half-season loan, the manager must brutally axe Van de Beek, sending him back to Old Trafford.
The Toffees were without the support of the Dutch midfielder again on Sunday in their victory at the King Power Stadium with Lampard confirming that he is injured for the third time, which means that he hasn’t been featured in the team since March, unavailable to assist Everton in their tight relegation battle.
This inconsistent form will come as no surprise to Dutch legend Marco van Basten, who cast doubt on Van de Beek’s ability to handle the Premier League, even going as far to say he was “not that good” in a scathing review of the player.
“Van de Beek is not that good,” he said. “As number 10 at Ajax it is much easier than as number 10 in Spain or England.”
Ironically, the £22.5m-rated former Ajax star may get his second chance at Manchester United despite his inconsistencies and lack of minutes in the Premier League since his arrival, as when he returns to Old Trafford this summer, the manager that propelled him into the spotlight will be taking charge.
Erik ten Hag has been appointed as the new Man United manager, and Van de Beek will be given the chance to prove his worth back in Manchester this summer according to reports, which will take pressure off Farhad Moshiri and Lampard having to have awkward conversations about his future this summer.
Ultimately, with light at the end of the tunnel almost in reach for the manager and his Merseyside team after moving out of the relegation zone on Sunday, he will need to focus on improving the squad next season by getting rid of deadwood, and Van de Beek will be an easy offload for Everton.