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Dimitar Berbatov has slammed Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek, suggesting his signing from Ajax has proved to be one of the worst pieces of business in United’s storied history.
Van de Beek struggled to make an impact last season, playing second fiddle to United’s outstanding creative midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who has rendered himself undroppable since signing from Sporting Lisbon in 2020.
The Dutch international was in and out of the side, regularly playing out of position when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer called upon him.
Although his talents were best exploited for Ajax in an advanced midfield role, he deployed in deeper or wider roles last season and hasn’t played a minute in the league yet this season.
Van de Beek might have counted himself unlucky to not feature last weekend with United pushing for a winner away at Southampton. The fact that Solskjaer chose Jesse Lingard to come off the bench instead of Van de Beek suggests United’s No.34 could be on borrowed time at Old Trafford.
Ex-United forward Berbatov believes van de Beek is a player with great talent but suggests it will likely not work out in Manchester.
“I don’t think we’re going to see any more playing time from Donny van de Beek,” Berba told Betfair.
“It’s a really strange, disappointing and surprising situation. They spent around £35million on him and, to pay that for a player who isn’t starting many games, doesn’t make sense.
“I’m not blaming the player at all, but for me, it’s one of the most disappointing transfers ever.”
Berbatov instead points the blame at the club for spending a big transfer fee on a player who would likely not unseat the current options available to the manager.
“He has got a lot of quality,” added the Bulgarian.
“I don’t like it when clubs buy for the sake of buying, and this is one of those situations. I’m sure he’s banging on the manager’s door and asking questions.
“I think if he’s not happy, van de Beek should push to leave. His place in the national team is at risk, especially now with Louis van Gaal in charge. Van Gaal is a disciplinarian who likes his players to play football.
” Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes are untouchable in the United midfield at the moment. Scott McTominay, Fred and even 33-year-old Nemanja Matic are ahead of van de Beek.”
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