There’s been a lot of talk surrounding the big-name arrivals at Manchester United this summer, but a potential departure could undo some of their good work in the transfer window.
The arrivals of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane from Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid, respectively, have reportedly depleted United’s budget, meaning the Old Trafford outfit may need to offload some fringe players before they can bring in another acquisition.
Outcasts such as Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Alex Telles are believed to be deemed surplus to requirements by the club’s hierarchy, although allowing Van de Beek to move on could be a decision they come to regret.
After scoring 41 goals and laying on a further 34 assists for his teammates in 175 games for Amsterdam, as well as winning a domestic double in 2018/19 as they reached the Champions League semi-finals, Van de Beek arrived in the Red half of Manchester with an enviable reputation.
However, the physical demands and fast-paced nature of the Premier League often looked to overwhelm the technically gifted midfielder last term, limiting him to just four starts in the top-flight throughout 2020/21.
The Netherlands international did show glimpses of his true potential on occasions, though. One such time was against Istanbul Basaksehir while on European duty, and his impressive showing drew praise from former United midfielder Owen Hargreaves.
“I thought Van de Beek was close to perfect. He is so unselfish, he can just fit in and play the right balls everywhere,” said the BT Sports pundit.
The 24-year-old has embarked on body transformation over the summer months after injury meant he had to pull out of his nation’s Euro 2020 squad, improving his strength, balance and agility.
“He’s put on a bit of muscle,” Solskjaer said of the Van de Beek “He’d had last season to learn about English football, and he’s used the summer well.
“You never know how players from abroad come in. Some players need a year. You see Fred’s development, but there are other players that just come in and take to it straight away. It depends.”
The Premier League has seen its history littered with foreign imports who has excelled after a tough first campaign, and Solskjaer will need a squad full of quality and strength in depth if he’s going to bring silverware back to the club, not just an outstanding starting XI.
With Paul Pogba yet to commit himself to a new contract, Van de Beek’s importance and role within the side could grow over the coming months, and letting him go could be new football director John Murtough’s first transfer nightmare.