It speaks volumes of where Manchester United are at right now that fans are having to look at the performances of players out on loan for reasons to smile.
United’s 1-1 draw against Southampton on Saturday was just the latest in a long list of games that prove just how far the club are off challenging for a place at the top of the Premier League table.
Supporters have been quick to lament the lack of transfer activity in January when assessing their side’s underwhelming displays of late, and the impressive showings from some of the players who left the club in the mid-season window are only adding insult to injury.
Anthony Martial’s fine showing on Friday night for Sevilla kicked off a cracking weekend of frustration for United fans, so it was only fair that Donny van de Beek capped off a miserable 24 hours with a superb display for Everton against Leeds.
The curiosity around Van de Beek’s move to United is as prominent as ever.
Signed from Ajax in the summer of 2020, there was real hope that his arrival would be seen as a turning point for the club in years to come.
Having played a key role in Ajax’s run to the semi-final of the 2018/19 Champions League, beating the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus along the way, there was no doubt United had signed a quality operator.
However, despite scoring on his debut, the Dutchman was never afforded a consistent run of games and his lack of action soon saw him lose his place in the Netherlands squad.
It would be wrong to say there’s hope that the move to Goodison Park will reignite his United career because, in truth, it never really got started. But if his weekend showing of him is anything to go by then he could yet have a future at Old Trafford.
Toffees boss Frank Lampard started Van de Beek in a double pivot with Allan and he was absolutely sensational, putting in an eye-catching performance as Everton eased their relegation worries with a 3-0 win.
as per SofaScore , Van de Beek recorded an 89.5% pass accuracy, completed 10/13 attacking third passes, won three out of four aerial duels, made 10 ball recoveries, completed four tackles and had a huge hand in the game’s opener. A wonderful display from a player who’s looking to provide a point to his parent club.
Naturally, United fans were quick to praise the Dutchman on social media, but his performances should be the least of their worries. right now.
It’s great to see him doing well but United have got far too many problems to be concentrating on the performances of players away on loan.
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Also, Leeds plotted their own downfall on Saturday afternoon with their non-existent midfield – similar to their display in the 7-0 thrashing to Manchester City recently – meaning Van de Beek had the freedom of Goodison Park to weave his magic.
It’s great to see him doing well but if he’s to thrive at United then he needs to produce on a consistent basis – there aren’t many professional footballers who can’t lay claim to having had at least one decent game in their career.
Good luck to Van de Beek, we can only hope he does well at Everton. But let’s concentrate on the players trying to get United into the top four, shall we?
Should United fans be focussing on Van de Beek’s performance? 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.