Man Utd: Van de Beek backed to succeed by de Boer
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Manchester United star Donny van de Beek has had a tough time since signing for the club in the summer last year. However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could give the Dutchman a rare start in the Europa League tonight as they face La Liga outfit Granada.
Van de Beek joined United in the summer transfer window for a fee of £40m from Ajax.
His arrival was pinned as a decent purchase, with his performances in the Champions League catching the attention of Real Madrid.
But it has been a tough time for the 23-year-old, who has made just two starts in the Premier League.
As a result, Van de Beek has even lost his spot in the Netherlands national team and several pundits from his homeland have bemoaned his decision to join the Red Devils.
In Europe, it has not been much better for the midfielder, though he did start four matches in the Champions League group stage.
However, he has not seen a single minute of action in the Europa League – but that could change tonight.
United take on La Liga side Granada in the quarter-finals of the tournament – one Solskjaer is desperate to win.
And Van de Beek could be primed to start as the Norwegian eyes rotating his squad ahead of a crucial clash against Tottenham this weekend.
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Fred and Scott McTominay have been his go-to pairing in midfield but there have been signs that their form is declining.
One position Van de Beek could fulfil is as one of the two in this pivot – a position Solskjaer ultimately envisages him taking one day at Old Trafford – but does not trust his lack of speed to cover such an area.
Against Granada could be an ideal time to give him a chance to prove himself – if not, further forward in the No. 10 role could suit him, too.
Resting Bruno Fernandes is an option for Solskjaer while Van de Beek has the creativity and presence of mind to take up the position.
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A more left-field option – nearly literally – would be to deploy the youngster on one of the flanks, where he has featured sparingly during his time at Old Trafford.
In a 2-0 win over Everton, Van de Beek took up the left-wing position and impressed before being hauled off with 30 minutes to go while Marcus Rashford’s fitness problems could mean Solskjaer finally giving him a chance to shine.
Of course, the Red Devils coach has another choice and one that Van de Beek is all too familiar with this year – sitting on the bench.
United could go all-out attack, as they did against Real Sociedad in the first leg of their Europa League tie, and try and put the game to bed before a ball is kicked in the second leg.
On that occasion, Fernandes, Rashford, Harry Maguire and Mason Greenwood all started as they beat the Basque side 4-0 and Solskjaer will be hoping for a similar result tonight.
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