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Van de Beek can become ‘more of a threat’ in scoring goals – Erik ten Hag

Manager Erik ten Hag insists he won’t give up on Manchester United outcast Donny van de Beek despite his rut of form – and backs the Dutchman to become ‘more of a threat’ in attack for the Red Devils.

Van de Beek has flopped since a £40million move from Ajax – where he made his name under Ten Hag – in September 2020, and he spent the second half of last season on loan at Everton.

It was hoped that Ten Hag’s arrival at United this summer might ignite Van de Beek’s flagging United career, but the 25-year-old has been hampered by injury which limited him to four appearances off the bench totalling 30 minutes before Thursday’s Europa League win over Real Sociedad.

Van de Beek was given his first start of the season at the Reale Arena, possibly with an eye on playing him at Aston Villa on Sunday when Bruno Fernandes will be suspended.

However, Van de Beek failed to take his chance as he had just 19 touches of the ball before being substituted in the 58th minute.

Asked if there will come a point where United will have to accept Van de Beek’s move to Old Trafford hasn’t worked out, Ten Hag said: ‘Yes, but that can’t be now. Because he had quite a good pre-season, he was injured, now he is back.

‘I think it was a decent performance. I know he can do better because I know him very well, but he delivered what I expected in terms of positioning, pressing and transition. I think he can do more and that’s his biggest quality, he can be more of a threat to an opponent’s goal.

‘In my time here, he is performing well in the game-time we gave him.

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Ten Hag must decide whether to give Van de Beek another chance at Villa Park or use Christian Eriksen in the No.10 role.

This article was updated 1 month ago

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