It appears Patrice Evra may have been right. Donny van de Beek looks like a round peg in a square hole at Manchester United and his performance against Istanbul Basaksehir will be doing his chances of more game time no favours.
Thankfully for the Dutchman, United were abysmal from one to eleven and his own personal performance is unlikely to be placed under the microscope from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
This was Van de Beek’s second consecutive start in the Champions League but he failed to make any kind of impression throughout proceedings.
Van de Beek is naturally an attacking midfielder, who flourishes as the No 10 or No 8.
Yet all the while Bruno Fernandes is in the side, Solskjaer is having to try and shoehorn in Van de Beek and is playing him out of position.
He said in the Sky Sports studio: “I have nothing against the kid but why have we bought Van de Beek?
“He’s watching the game in the stand every game because we don’t need him.
“That’s the truth but people will not say it aloud.”
Former Holland international Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was also in agreement: “You are spot on. He’s an attacking midfielder, his strength is getting in the box and getting at the end of things and scoring goals or creating like (Bruno) Fernandes.
“If he has to compete with Fernandes he’s not going to play is he?”
Solskjaer then hit back at the comments, claiming Van de Beek was set for a “big, big part this year”.
While his defence of Van de Beek was legitimate in that he deserves the time to adapt to his new surroundings, there does not seem to be a place for Van de Beek in this United side.
United are still trying to find their best formation and the constant rotation is not helping Van de Beek’s cause.
Not only that but there is also fierce competition with the likes of Fred, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic for playing time.
Van de Beek was withdrawn after the hour mark as Solskjaer looked to get something from the game as he introduced Pogba to the fray.
While there is still time to turn things around, the bigger concern remains whether there is actually a role for him to thrive within United’s current system.
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