Manchester United’s FA Cup tie against West Ham saw Donny van de Beek handed a rare start.
Paul Pogba’s injury opened the door for the Dutchman to make an impression on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has awarded him just 10 starts in all competitions this season.
Just two of those have been in the Premier League.
It’s strange to think now that the midfielder was United’s biggest signing of the summer.
Solskjaer has made it clear the former Ajax man is far from his first choice, but many United fans have been desperate to see him given an opportunity.
When that finally arrived against the Hammers, he struggled to impress.
The first 90 minutes were incredibly poor and the deadlock was only broken in the seventh minute of extra time by Scott McTominay, who scored his seventh goal of the season.
By that stage, Van de Beek was watching from the bench, having been replaced with Bruno Fernandes.
Per Squawka, he had created zero chances, won one tackle, one duel, had one shot and made 2 clearances.
He’d also only had 84% passing accuracy and made 45 touches.
It’s inevitable that the 23-year-old’s confidence has taken a knock, but when he’s not relying on his manager to bring him shuddering back down to earth, he had Mark Noble piling in on him – quite literally – at Old Trafford too.
As he went to take a throw-in, the West Ham stalwart sent him clattering down to the ground.
His nosedive in self-esteem was then compounded by his own efforts to pull off some clever footwork, only to botch his skill. It really wasn’t his night.
He looked thoroughly disappointed to be taken off. But while Solskjaer has often been criticised for not giving him enough game time, perhaps he has a point.
Van de Beek certainly didn’t do enough to prove him wrong on Tuesday night.