Donny van de Beek’s time at Manchester United is getting worse and worse by the minute.
The Old Trafford faithful could be forgiven for thinking that Van de Beek was going to play an important role for the Red Devils this season when he was snapped up from Ajax last summer.
Instead, his rare start in the FA Cup victory over West Ham United was nothing but demonstrative of his first four months at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ – and that’s by no means a good thing.
Van de Beek’s Man Utd woes
Van de Beek was accused of looking scared throughout a tepid performance that saw him produce a botched skill and wayward pass before being hooked by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on 73 minutes.
And it didn’t take a sports psychologist to identify that Van de Beek looked gutted when he saw his squad number raised aloft by the fourth official with Bruno Fernandes coming on to replace him.
Sadly, with Solskjaer showing no signs of increasing Van de Beek’s game time this season, there’s now good reason to view United’s move for the Ajax graduate as a completely bewildering one.
Man Utd’s worst XI of signings
In fact, here at GIVEMESPORT, we think that the Van de Beek situation has stooped to such a degree of farce that it’s one of United’s worst transfer clangers since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
And that’s saying something because the heavy spending at Old Trafford since 2013 has produced just as many misfires as it has inspired arrivals.
So, to see where Van de Beek fits into that erratic approach from United, we’ve drawn up their worst XI of signings in the post-Ferguson era. Check out our selections down below:
GK: Victor Valdes
Signed with knee damage, reduced to just two first-team outings, embroiled in a toxic relationship with Louis van Gaal and dumped out on loan at Standard Liege, it’s fair to say that Valdes’ time at Old Trafford was an unmitigated disaster.
DF: Andy Kellett
Rated as the worst player in the Championship at the time of his Red Devils switch, Kelletts’ arrival, albeit to cover the Under 23 side, is arguably the strangest in United’s recent history and failed to reap a single first-team appearance.
DF: Marcos Rojo
It’s borderline mind-blowing that Rojo only left United a week ago because the volatile Argentine had been tumbling down the club’s pecking order for years, making just 27 appearances since 2016/17.
DF: Matteo Darmian
You only have to look at Darmian’s performances in Italy to grasp that he’s by no means a bad player, but we just never saw his quality in the Premier League, doing well to last the 92 matches he mustered in the famous red jersey.
The only consolation here is that Mkihtaryan’s woes at Arsenal went to show that it was the Premier League in general and not United, for whom he mustered just five league goals, that was the Armenian’s undoing.
CM: Morgan Schneiderlin
It remains confusing to this day that Schneiderlin devolved from a midfield juggernaut to looking completely out of his depth in the Premier League after swapping Southampton for United, leaving Old Trafford after just 18 months.
CM: Donny van de Beek
Reduced to just two Premier League starts and rated as United’s third-worst player this season, the Red Devils’ decision to sign the Ajax prodigy for £35.7 million looks more bewildering by the week.
CM: Bastian Schweinsteiger
If something seems too good to be true, it usually is and United should have heeded that advice when Bayern Munich offered them Schweinsteiger for just £6.5 million with their doomed marriage ending in exile at the hands of Jose Mourinho.
LM: Memphis Depay
Don’t let his stunning displays at Lyon fool you because Depay was all over the show at Old Trafford, failing to make an impression under either Van Gaal and Mourinho, before getting the chop just 18 months in.
ST: Radamel Falcao
Just two years on from competing for the Ballon d’Or, it remains gutting that Falcao never made the grade in the Premier League, failing to justify his whopping loan fees with just four goals in 29 appearances.
ST: Alexis Sanchez
The worst of the worst. United might as well have set fire to their wallet when they handed wages reported to be as high as £500,000-per-week to a player who wanted to leave after his first day of training and scored just three Premier League goals.
Still hope for Van de Beek
Have we been lenient leaving out Angel Di Maria? Perhaps, but it’s easy to forget that the Argentine, for all his loathing for the Manchester area, did manage to rack up 10 Premier League assists.
So, yes, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Depay do sneak ahead of them in a starting XI of disastrous proportions with Van de Beek well on his way to maintaining his place for years to come.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that Fred probably would have slotted into this team as recently as early 2020 and his progression at Old Trafford since then has been nothing short of staggering.
And it’s a roadmap that Van de Beek should look to follow whenever he gets his chance because make no mistake, there’s a player ready to tear up the Premier League waiting to be unleashed.