Man Utd: Van de Beek backed to succeed by de Boer
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Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek is set to face further competition for a starting spot next season even if Paul Pogba gets his wish of leaving the club, according to reports. Van de Beek has made just two Premier League starts since his £40million arrival from Ajax last summer.
Bruno Fernandes has been Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-choice in the No 10 role and stealing the Portuguese’s spot has proved an impossible task for Van de Beek.
The Dutchman can also play slightly deeper but Pogba has often taken up that role alongside a more defensive-minded midfielder.
Solskjaer has also played with two holders at times, with Scott McTominay, Fred and Nemanja Matic rotating in those positions.
Van de Beek’s lack of game time has led to rumours he will look for a move away as early as this summer.
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Ian McGarry of the Transfer Window podcast says United’s main reason for signing the 23-year-old was because they believed Pogba was going to leave the club.
McGarry said: “I have been told, and it has been speculated as well by some ex-Manchester United players, that the reason that Van de Beek was that they expected Paul Pogba to leave Old Trafford.
“So Van de Beek, as a creative midfielder who could play flexibly at six, eight or 10, would be a good replacement for Pogba, who of course didn’t leave and now Van de Beek has been left effectively on the bench.”
McGarry’s podcast co-host Duncan Castles claims Pogba is still keen on leaving United, with his contract set to expire in the summer of 2022.
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However, if Pogba leaves, United will look for a replacement rather than put faith in Van de Beek.
Castles said: “Paul Pogba wants to leave. Whether he will get that move is another matter.
“But he would like to go to Real Madrid. However, Manchester United are looking for a new midfielder and they’re looking for a player who can play as a No 6 and also play as a box-to-box No 8.
“So if Pogba goes, there will be more competition for a place.”
United have been linked with Atletico Madrid duo Saul Niguez and Marcos Llorente in recent weeks.
But despite uncertainty over his game time, Van de Beek has not yet decided if he wants out of the Red Devils.
Castles added: “What I’m told is that he’s thinking about whether the right thing to do would be to ask for a move and leave Manchester United, go somewhere where he gets to go properly, but only thinking about it.
“It’s not the case, I’m told, that he’s actually gone and requested to leave the club.
“A decision is still to be made on his part over what the right thing is to do this summer.”
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