Although he acknowledged Donny van de Beek is nearing the end of his time at Manchester United, Rio Ferdinand thinks Erik ten Hag was right to start him against Aston Villa.
While none of United’s players shone in the humiliating 3-1 loss at Villa Park on Sunday, Van de Beek was the focus of much criticism. It was his first Premier League start of the year.
Since moving from Ajax to United in 2020, the midfielder has struggled terribly, and not even a run-in with his former manager Ten Hag has helped his situation.
Many think that the Red Devils should let the 25-year-old go at this point, but Ferdinand insists that Van de Beek is still a great player who hasn’t yet had the proper opportunity to show it.
The United legend spoke on the VIBE with FIVE podcasts about how the manager knows him [Van de Beek], what he has going on in his head, and what he is capable of.
While at Manchester United, or in England for that matter, he has not come close to accomplishing that. He probably saw him live four or five or more times when he was on that Ajax team.
He is aware that it has been a while since those games, but at the time, he was one of the three or four players whose contributions made you believe there would be a market for him.
The issue with how he’s been used at United is that he never gets into the box, which means he doesn’t get the opportunities to display his best skills. Once you get him in and around the box, he can finish.
As the Ten Hag era at Old Trafford kicks off, this year for United is still very much in transition, and Ferdinand anticipates the manager giving Van de Beek a few more starts despite the performances.