Erik Ten Hag Finally Decide On Donny Van De Beek And Mason Greenwood’s Future With Manchester United

Erik ten Hag could decide Donny van de Beek’s future at Manchester United next month

October’s schedule will force Erik ten Hag to make the most of his Manchester United squad. The end of next month will mark the one-year anniversary of Donny van de Beek’s Manchester United career’s lowest point.

After being thrashed 5-0 by Liverpool six days prior, United traveled to London to face Tottenham Hotspur in the Saturday evening kick-off a day before Halloween, hoping to avoid another nightmare. It was a must-win game for former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was expected to make wholesale changes following the events at Old Trafford the previous weekend.

In fact, Solskjaer made only two changes, opting to go back to a back-three. Raphael Varane was called into the starting lineup, joining Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof in a three-man defense.

The midfield, on the other hand, stayed the same, with Scott McTominay and Fred joining Bruno Fernandes in the engine room. McTominay and Fred were both outclassed by Liverpool the week before, so United fans expected Solskjaer to bite the bullet and give Van de Beek the chance he craved.

Instead, the Dutchman was relegated to bench duties. While that was a bad enough story in and of itself, what happened before kick-off summed up his time at Old Trafford. Van de Beek was seen being called away from the substitutes warming up in video footage captured by a United supporter in the away end and was instructed to tee the balls up for United’s starters to have some practice shots at goal instead.

Before training, Erik Ten Hag and Cristiano Ronaldo crack jokes.

Erik Ten Hag and Cristiano Ronaldo crack jokes before training, among other things, during Manchester United’s first team practice session.

He was there, a £40 million signing, doing a job that a member of Solskjaer’s coaching staff should have been doing. Van de Beek was not used again that evening, and despite being reunited with former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford, he has only made ten Premier League appearances in United colors since, either side of his loan at Everton, totaling just over an hour and 20 minutes.

Ten Hag’s appointment as United manager in May was supposed to launch Van de Beek’s career in M16. The former oversaw his rise at Ajax and was instrumental in his move to Old Trafford in September 2020.

However, under Ten Hag, the Dutchman has only made three appearances, totaling 19 minutes of action as a substitute in United’s first three Premier League games this season. He was recently sidelined due to an unspecified injury, missing the last three matches in all competitions.

Van de Beek will be hoping to prove to Ten Hag that he is still capable of making a name for himself in England now that he is back on the grass at Carrington ahead of the season resuming next weekend. The volume of fixtures in United’s October schedule makes it appear daunting on paper.

Beginning with the short trip to the Etihad Stadium for the derby against Manchester City on October 2, United has nine games in 29 days. This is a time when every member of Ten Hag’s squad must be ready to go at any moment.

With three Europa League games sandwiched between six Premier League games, the rotation will be a common theme next month, even if Ten Hag has recently refused to tinker too much. Because competition for positions is fierce within the squad, the United manager will not be short on options when it comes to making necessary changes.

In midfield, Scott McTominay, Christian Eriksen, and Bruno Fernandes have all established themselves in Ten Hag’s preferred system, with Casemiro, Fred, and Van de Beek relegated to the bench. Ten Hag rotated his pack against Real Sociedad earlier this month but chose to leave Eriksen in midfield with Casemiro and Fred.

To everyone’s surprise, Fred started in the advanced midfield position, leaving Eriksen in his newly discovered No.8 position. It was a bad decision and had Van de Beek been fit, he would have been the better choice, especially since Ten Hag described the No.10 role as his favorite during the pre-season tour of Australia in July.

With opportunities being scarce in the last 12 months, surely October’s relentless schedule will allow Van de Beek to try to rekindle his career? If it doesn’t, and Ten Hag chooses to ignore him, his United career is over.

Nobody can get him to fire on all cylinders again if Ten Hag can’t.

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