Understandably United fans are desperate to see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer give more minutes to the £ 40million addition, but the reaction from some former players and pundits has been ludicrous.
Dutch icon Marco van Basten, in particular, believes Van de Beek made a mistake in moving to Old Trafford, saying his development has already been compromised while Patrice Evra questioned United’s decision to sign the player 23 years old.
The idea that Van de Beek hasn’t played since moving is completely wrong. United have played eight games this season, with the midfielder having appeared in seven of those games. Only Marcus Rashford has featured in more.
One of United’s main issues last season was lack of depth and it’s clear Van de Beek has arrived to add another quality option in the center of the park. As Evra noted, is he better than Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes? Probably not. But does he add quality to the United squad? Absolutely. Will he have his chance to prove himself? Of course, as Solskjaer has already confirmed.
“Don’t worry about it,” the United boss said after Chelsea’s draw when asked about Van de Beek’s lack of departures. “He will have his games. Do not worry about that. It’s easy to tell who should play and harder to tell who shouldn’t. ”
The utter overreaction to Van de Beek’s failure to become an instant starter is bizarre. Many will cite Fernandes’ introduction in January as a case for the Dutchman to start more games, but the Portuguese is truly an anomaly. Manchester City have yet to start Ferran Torres in the league after arriving from Valencia while Hakim Ziyech has yet to start for Chelsea since joining from Ajax, so why United’s use of Van de Beek is it so criticized?
History suggests United may be taking the best course of action for their development – the perfect example being Liverpool. After losing the Champions League final to Real Madrid in 2018, rivals United have announced the capture of Fabinho from Monaco in a deal worth £ 40million. The Brazilian was highly coveted and seen as a real coup for the Merseyside club.
A Real Madrid academy graduate, regular Brazilian international and Ligue 1 winner, you would have expected the midfielder to enter the starting XI. Nonetheless, he was an unused substitute in Liverpool’s opening eight games, eventually making an off-bench appearance against Huddersfield in October. He started his first game in the next game against Cardiff and hasn’t looked back, helping his new side win the Champions League and later the Premier League title.
It’s not just Fabinho that Jurgen Klopp has chosen to make himself comfortable at a new club. Andy Robertson – who many consider the best left-back in the world – was forced to play Alberto Moreno’s second fiddle after joining Liverpool from Hull in 2017. The Scottish captain has only appeared two games in the league before December and only benefited from a long side race following an injury to the Spaniard. Now he is one of the first names on the roster at Anfield and his importance to the Liverpool squad is increasing with every game.
It’s not a question of whether Van de Beek will get a chance at United – just like Fabinho and Robertson under Klopp, his time will come. The fixture list is more demanding than ever and the Netherlands international will have plenty of opportunities to prove his skeptics wrong.