Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has admitted he would not be shocked to see Donny Van de Beek leave the club after struggling to make an impact at Old Trafford.
Van de Beek signed from Ajax in a £ 40million deal this summer and is expected to compete widely for a role in the starting lineup, adding quality strength at depth.
Since arriving in the United States, the Dutchman has made 20 appearances, but has started only eight times, only two of them in the Premier League. That led to talk of his future at the club less than six months after signing, and former Manchester United striker Berbatov wouldn’t be surprised if he left as fast as he came.
Speaking to Betfair, the Bulgarian said: “I don’t know what’s going on with Donny van de Beek – I said before he signed that I liked him as a player he was great for Ajax and his national team, but now he can’t have a game at United.
“I can see his confidence isn’t high at the moment, and that’s okay because when you’re not playing you start to punish yourself and ask yourself questions. I wouldn’t be surprised if he started looking for the exit and no one would blame him. Something’s not working. “
While it is highly unlikely that the player will be allowed to leave the club during the January transfer window, if his current lack of playing time continues, a summer change is possible.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently moved to reassure the player, saying he expected Van de Beek to become important in the future.
“He [Van de Beek] came in, he’s in a group of midfielders with quality – I have dozens, heaps of central midfielders with Paul [Pogba], Nemanja [Matić], Scott [McTominay] and Fred and Donny did well when he walked in.
“Donny played well when he got the chance. I think we are sometimes too quick to jump on “Oh he’s not playing, it’s a failure”, but you know we can see now.
“With Victor [Lindelöf] and Fred, as examples it takes a little while and now they’re extremely important players in our squad, in our squad, which will be the same with Donny. He’s always ready, he’s still working hard in training, positive and he will make a difference in many games for us this season but he will grow more and more for next year. “