Manchester United have reportedly ended their interest in Eduardo Camavinga, Saul Niguez and Ruben Neves, with Paul Pogba now set to remain at the club, but it could be another midfielder who has the biggest impact at Old Trafford in the years to come.
According to the Daily Mail, French giants Paris Saint-Germain can no longer afford to sign Pogba this summer following their shock move for six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi.
However, the report claims that the highly-rated 28-year-old is expected to depart United as a free agent for the second time in 12 months’ time, meaning current understudy Donny van de Beek should have an ideal opportunity to shine.
The Netherlands international arrived in Manchester for £40 million prior to the 2020/21 campaign following two standout seasons with boyhood club Ajax, yet he struggled to settle on English shores, limiting him to just four Premier League starts.
Now though, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must place his faith in the technically gifted maestro, potentially saving the club millions when it comes to finding Pogba’s successor.
After scoring 41 goals and providing 34 assists in 175 games for Ajax, as well as winning a domestic double in 2018/19 as they reached the Champions League semi-finals, Van de Beek arrived at Old Trafford with high expectations.
Nevertheless, the new environment and physical, fast-paced nature of the Premier League often looked a bit too much for the midfielder to take in last term, although he did show his true potential on occasions.
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 technically gifted midfielder has embarked on physical transformation over the summer months after injury meant he had to pull out of Hollands 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.”
And now it’s time for Solsjaer to reward Van de Beek’s dedication with a string of regular starts, allowing him to showcase his true, top-class quality on a consistent basis.
With Marcus Rashford sidelined until October through injury and Jesse Lingard unavailable after testing positive for Covid, Pogba could take up residency on the left-wing for the first few weeks of the new campaign, allowing the Dutchman a chance to prove that he can be the World Cup-winning star’s natural heir.
Every club’s fans love a comeback story, but no side is more associated with them than United, and the fanbase would surely love to witness Van de Beek begin his this season.
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