Ajax manager Erik ten Hag is being heavily linked with the Manchester United job, but says the club have been committing a ‘mortal sin’ with their treatment of Donny van de Beek.
The Dutchman is one of the favourites to be given the United job on a permanent basis in the summer, after Ralf Rangnick’s stint as interim boss at Old Trafford.
He has already hinted pretty strongly that he is ready for a step up from Ajax and a new challenge, which could be at Old Trafford in the summer.
However, he has not been impressed by the Red Devils’ treatment of his former player Van de Beek, who has had an entirely underwhelming time at Old Trafford since moving from Ajax last year.
The 24-year-old has not made a single Premier League start so far this season after making just four over the last campaign under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Ten Hag is stunned at how the midfielder has been managed at United, describing it as a ‘mortal sin’ that he has not been given more opportunities.
‘Take Donny. I find that hard, a mortal sin,’ the 51-year-old told De Volkskrant. ‘If you haven’t had a chance yet, then development will also stall.’
The manager said he is still in contact with a number of his former players, adding: ‘Every now and then you encourage them.’
The Ajax boss says that Van de Beek is now an example to young players in the Netherlands of whether the move to a bigger club is the right thing to do or not.
Ten Hag completely understands a desire to take on a new and bigger challenge, but youngsters must consider the pros and cons of moving to a more competitive squad.
‘Everyone understands that as a top athlete you want to push your limits,’ he said. ‘If you don’t have that mentality, then you don’t belong here.
‘But when are you going to do that and at which club? What is your motivation? I try to get that thought process going.’
Van de Beek will hope that he is more in contention at Old Trafford under new interim boss Ralf Rangnick, who starts his stint in charge on Sunday against Crystal Palace.
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