Manchester United’s January transfer window has been a bit of a mixed bag.
There was an expectation that United would bring in a couple of new faces to strengthen where the weak areas of the squad, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.
The MEN understand that United are looking at summer targets to strengthen in the next transfer window, but that is a risk. There is still plenty to play for this season, and the lack of a new midfielder could come back to bite them.
However, United needs to be praised for their conduct to get rid of players who needed to leave, whether on loan or permanently.
One of the players they’ve decided to get rid of was Donny van de Beek. He has decided to join Frank Lampard on a season-long loan at Everton.
Van de Beek’s time at Old Trafford has been disappointing. The Dutchman signed in the summer of 2020 and excited so many supporters because everyone knew the talents he had in his locker.
Signed for £40 million from Ajax, Van de Beek was already an established Champions League player and got to the competition’s semi-finals in 2019. At 23, he also seemed like the perfect age to go on and develop his career in a demanding, domestic league.
Unfortunately, Van de Beek hasn’t had any game time, which has led to him seeking opportunities elsewhere.
A loan move to Everton looked, on paper, like it was only going to benefit him.
New manager Lampard needed some reinforcements after a disappointing season for The Toffees, who were in desperate need of a creative midfielder.
It’s why it looked like a move to Everton looked like an excellent move for Van de Beek, but these plans could now be scuppered after another new arrival at Goodison Park.
Everton have made a move for Tottenham’s Dele Alli after agreeing on a permanent transfer for the England international, but this could have significant implications for Van de Beek because he plays in his position.
There’s been a lot of speculation regarding where Van de Beek best operates in the midfield. Some supporters have said he’s a number 10. Others have said that he’s a number eight. A few have argued he can play as a number six.
United’s managers have viewed him as a 10, which is why he’s been the understudy to Bruno Fernandes. If we take this into account and Everton needed to strengthen in this position, we can assume this is where he could play.
But Alli could provide some thorough competition for the 24-year-old and even put him on the bench, just like it was at United.
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Of course, it has to be remembered that Alli has also moved to get his career going again, and he would’ve wanted some guaranteed assurances about playing time, but you can only fear for the United loanee.
To make matters even more complicated for Van de Beek, it’s not like he can easily slot into a number eight position either.
The double-pivot of Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan are arguably two of Everton’s better midfielders on their day, so it will have to take a lot from Van de Beek to break ahead of these players.
His move has undoubtedly become a lot more interesting. He’ll have to up his performance levels to become a regular first-team player, but whether he has enough fight in him remains to be seen.
Could Alli’s move have an impact on Van de Beek? Follow our United On My Mind writer omar garrick on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.