Donny van de Beek yet again failed to appear in Manchester United’s starting line-up during their 2-0 defeat to bitter rivals Manchester City on Wednesday.
And the Dutchman is beginning to look more and more like the “panic buy” Paul Merson claimed he was when United splashed out £40m to sign the midfielder from Ajax in the summer.
United were beaten in their fourth semi in a row as goals from John Stones and Fernandinho saw City progess to the Carabao Cup final.
And once more Van de Beek was not given much of a chance to impress or make an impact, coming off the bench with just two minutes left to play.
The 23-year-old has struggled for minutes all season, and this has led to the likes of Netherlands great Ronald de Boer urging him to push for a loan move, or even to be sold.
It is certainly not proving to be the move either Van de Beek or the club dreamed of so far.
And Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson predicted it would turn out this way as soon as the deal went through.
Writing in his column for the Daily Star in September, Merson said: “Donny van de Beek looks like a panic buy at Manchester United. I don’t get it.
“They just spent £40m on a position where they are already strong and how does he play with Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes?
“That signing looked to me like: ‘Oh we haven’t bought anyone yet, let’s go and buy someone, who can we get?'”
So far Merson appears to be bang on the money, with United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seemingly unable to get the best out of Van de Beek or decide on his position in the team.
With Paul Pogba seemingly getting back to his best and Bruno Fernandes still in superb form, and with Fred and Scott McTominay also in the competition for places, Van de Beek’s frustrations could yet last a while longer.
An FA Cup tie against Watford this weekend may just offer him the chance to start and to finally make his mark.
But if he fails to do so United may well begin to wonder why they ever signed him in the first place.