Ex-Manchester United man Keith Gillespie has expressed his confusion at the Red Devils’ treatment of midfielder Donny van de Beek this season.
Whilst that is a fair assessment considering that the £31.5m-rated midfielder has started just two matches in the Premier League this season, it could be said that he is simply not deserving of any more opportunities than those he is already receiving.
In all competitions, Van de Beek’s output has been truly woeful having accumulated just one goal and two assists for the Red Devils all season – that solitary strike coming in his debut appearance in a 3-1 Old Trafford reverse at the hands of Crystal Palace.
It is certainly a dramatic downturn for the 19-cap Dutch international, with him having plundered 10 goals and 11 assists in his final season in his home country before arriving at United.
Whilst it could be argued that he is now plying his trade in a much more difficult league, that lack of contribution is concerning from an attacking midfielder, no matter the quality of opposition.
Van de Beek’s regression hasn’t just occurred in his tangible contributions, however, but he is simply having a lower impact when taking to the pitch.
In his final season with Ajax, he was averaging 1.9 shots per game, 1.8 key passes, and one dribble per game in the league according to WhoScored.
These numbers have also taken a dramatic drop to 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 in the Premier League.
Considering that he has the task of getting beyond the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba for a starting berth in his preferred attacking midfield position, there is simply no justification for Van de Beek being afforded more opportunities considering his poor performances.
So, whilst Gillespie is left to question the Dutchman’s lack of action, the answer as to his exclusion from the starting line-up is relatively clear.