Ajax manager Erik ten Hag is one of the favourites for the full-time manager position at Manchester United and has criticised the club’s handling of Donny van de Beek
The Dutchman coached Van de Beek at the Amsterdam club before he joined the Red Devils in September 2020.
The two enjoyed success together at Ajax, winning the Eredivisie title and Dutch Cup, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Van de Beek has struggled for minutes since his move to Old Trafford, making just four Premier League starts in 15 months.
Ten Hag is one of the leading candidates for the full-time United job and could help the 24-year-old recapture his form if he’s appointed.
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As quoted by Dutch outlet de Volkskrant, the current Ajax boss has criticised Van de Beek’s lack of progress at United.
“Donny, I find that hard,” said Ten Hag. “[It’s a] mortal sin. If you haven’t had a chance yet, then development will also stall. Every now and then you encourage them.”
Although Ten Hag could be the key to unlocking Van de Beek’s potential, he may not still be at United come the summer.
Van de Beek’s future could depend on his progress under interim manager Ralf Rangnick, who takes charge of his first game against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
“I only want what’s best for Arsenal and I believe Donny van de Beek can play, if given the opportunity,” he said last month.
“The boy can play. He wants out. I think this young man has super ability. He can play anywhere around the midfield – holding, at eight, and he can play attacking.”
Speaking in March, former United defender Paul Parker slammed the club’s treatment of Van de Beek.
“I can’t understand why United can’t get him on the pitch,” said Parker. “It’s an absolute waste and I don’t understand what’s going on.
“His treatment makes you wonder who actually signed him because it looks as if there’s a grudge against him.
“He’s got loads of talent, he’s industrious, got a good work ethic, he can dribble round the box and play clever passes. He could win games because he can play in tight spaces.
“He’s been brought up at Ajax to do just that and has had a better football education than anyone at United.”
Speaking about his own future, Ten Hag added: “I think I’m ready for it [the next step]. I would be happy to take up that challenge.
“But I’m not chasing it. If it turns out that that step will never come, I will not say that my coaching career has failed.
“But I think I have sufficient competences to take on that challenge.”