The agent of Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek has admitted the Dutchman has endured a “painful” start to his time in the Premier League – but that he is patient and confident that he will eventually win a place in the club’s first team.
Van de Beek joined United from Ajax in summer 2020, though has been unable to force his way into the first team on a regular basis at Old Trafford.
The presence of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba has perhaps been a solid obstacle as the 24-year-old seeks playing time for United – with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seemingly yet to trust him with the responsibility of sitting in the double pivot, which is often occupied by Fred and Scott McTominay or Nemanja Matic.
Van de Beek was linked with a move away in the summer because of his lack of first team action, but representative Guido Albers told talkSPORT that Van de Beek is still trusted by the management staff and hopeful of soon winning his place.
“Donny is happy with the fact the club has so much trust in him,” Albers said. “But last season was really painful because he didn’t play much. He was ready for this. It’s about choices and timing, you have to accept. He signed a six year contract, but he wants to play.
“In the last few weeks he showed he is ready for the new season and he showed what the club likes to see. So we will see in the next few months whether the club will use him or not. Hopefully they will use him, if not we have to find other solutions. But I don’t think it is necessary.
“In the next months, it will be clearer that Donny can be a really good Man Utd player and please the fans who are supporting him all the time. He will succeed.”
There’s weight to the argument that Van de Beek was signed as the potential replacement for Pogba, who is out of contract in 2022 and had pushed to be sold for a new challenge last year. But Europe’s biggest clubs and their financial struggles with COVID have meant Pogba stayed – and he still occupies a place in United’s team.
Albers added on Van de Beek: “He is patient. He is a good guy. The problem is the environment is not patient anymore. People who write about him don’t know the story, they all write their own story. That’s 2021.
“At the end he wants to play, but he has to accept that he will have to be more patient than he was willing to be. He’s not the type of guy who does crazy things and changes his mentality.
“I think everybody will enjoy his qualities in the next months.”
Asked if the player had received any playing time promises, Albers added: “Coaches will never do this. So no, he won’t get guarantees and I think that’s fair. Coaches have to do their jobs and players have to do their job. In the end, if you get the chance and you get the minutes, you are in shape and you play well, you are responsible for your own career.
“He is not looking for guarantees. He is working hard every day and if he gets his chance he will go for it.”