30 Jan 2022 | 06:46 | Football
Donny van de Beek’s playing time at Manchester United quickly dwindled just about a month after his arrival from Ajax in 2020, and it’s no surprise that he is among the unhappy players at the Old. Trafford. The Dutch player’s father-in-law, Dennis Bergkamp is said to have tried to hasten Van de Beek’s departure from United, by contacting his former Arsenal colleague Patrick Vieira to bring Donny to Crystal Palace.
Things did not go well for the 24-year-old even though he scored on his debut, coincidentally, against Palace. He started just once under Rangnick, in a Champions League draw with Young Boys in December, making four appearances from the bench.
Part of Donny’s problem at United is Bruno Fernandes, who is said to have played in the same position, preventing both of them from being in the same starting XI. However, Palace could become the ideal destination for Van de Beek to show that he can do more than just a public servant.
On the surface, it doesn’t appear that Palace is the best destination for Van de Beek after the success of loanee Conor Gallagher. Like Bruno, the Chelsea player is currently the top scorer for Vieira’s side with seven goals, attacking effectively from midfield the way Van de Beek demonstrated in Amsterdam.
But when not playing near the striker, Van de Beek showed his determination to change to be on the pitch. He said in 2021: ” I don’t know what the manager thinks and what he expects of me but I played a lower position at Ajax. Of course in the end I was number 10 but I also played. a few games as a 6, so I think I can play in this role. Given the way we play, for me, I think 6 or 8 is my best position… I don’t care where, I just want to play so it doesn’t matter where I play.”
The Red Devils did not give Van de Beek a chance to prove his resolve. At Palace, however, there could be a way to combine Van de Beek and Gallagher in the same squad, and Luka Milivojevic’s diminishing importance has opened up a direct entry for Van de Beek.
Should he go, United have the chance to see him play in the same midfield as Gallagher and use those performances as a basis for their own Van de Beek deployment, without must take the risk at Old Trafford itself. The need for a deep-lying midfielder has been an obvious factor at Manchester United for years, and letting Van de Beek go could prove them wrong in the way they think about the midfielder.