Midfielder Must ‘Prove Himself’ to Secure Game Time, Insists Erik ten Hag

Donny van de Beek
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Erik ten Hag has insisted that midfielder Donny van de Beek must earn his place in the Manchester United starting eleven and stated that he “has to prove himself.”

Time to Shine for Dutch Midfielder

Donny van de Beek and Erik ten Hag – Where It Began

The 25-year-old played under Ten Hag during his time at Ajax. The pair reached new heights together during Ajax’s 2018/19 campaign when they reached the Champions League semi-final, knocking out European giants Real Madrid and Juventus along the way.

A Slow Start in England

Donny van de Beek joined United from the Eredivisie club in 2020 on a five-year deal for a total fee of £39 million. Unfortunately for the Dutchman, he was unable to cement his place in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side and spent the majority of his time seated on the bench, before agreeing a loan deal to Everton in the January 2022 transfer window.

When Ten Hag was appointed head coach in Manchester, fans initially expected that Van de Beek would be guaranteed game time at Old Trafford, considering his prior relationship and achievements under the manager.

However, when broached on the subject, Ten Hag said, as reported by The Athletic: “It’s the same for every player, he has to do it by himself.

“Me as a manager and the coaching staff around him can do everything to set the right conditions so he can perform but in the end, the player has to do it by himself.”

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Van de Beek Possesses the Quality, Must Show It

He then acknowledged the midfielder’s talent, adding: “Donny has the capabilities, I have seen it, but he has to prove himself.”

The Netherlands international was in the best form of his career throughout the later stages of his time in Amsterdam, and a reunion with the coach that knows his qualities, as well as how to utilise the star to reach his potential, could see the midfielder play a key role in this new-look United squad.

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The Reds have a couple of friendlies remaining before kicking off their 2022/23 Premier League campaign against Brighton & Hove Albion on August 7. They start the season on home turf and supporters could potentially see new signings Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia in action for the first time.