Ralf Rangnick appears to finally see what Donny van de Beek can bring to Man Utd table

Donny van de Beek has had to be patient since Ralf Rangnick’s appointment as Manchester United interim manager but the Dutchman’s cameo against Aston Villa in the FA Cup could be a turning point

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Manchester United 1-0 Aston Villa: Rangnick reaction

Donny van de Beek‘s career since August 2020 appears to be pretty emblematic of his employer, Manchester United.

Any optimism has been short-lived, while it seems that little to no progress has been made despite so much public deliberation.

The 24-year-old has started just three more Premier League matches than the injury-ridden Phil Jones over the past 17 months, following his £35million transfer from Dutch giants Ajax.

However, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked by the Red Devils almost two months ago, fans hoped the changing of the guard at Old Trafford would offer Van de Beek a new lease of life.

Put short, it hasn’t gone that way – so far…

On Monday, as United edged past visitors Aston Villa in the FA Cup Third Round, the midfielder may have finally shown interim manager Ralf Rangnick that he can be of use.

Join the debate! Does van de Beek have a future at Man Utd? Let us know your thoughts below.

Van de Beek made an impact from the bench against Aston Villa

In the 72nd minute, after home supporters at Old Trafford chanted his name, Van de Beek was summoned by Rangnick and replaced striker Edinson Cavani.

It promoted the Red Devils’ change to a 4-4-2 diamond formation, finally preventing Villa from penetrating them centrally and forcing the ball wide.

Although Van de Beek managed just 14 touches, his presence and composure on the ball was a welcome addition, with Rangnick suggesting that his introduction was the difference in turning the tide.

“The game against Villa today confirmed, with a minimum three central midfielders, we had problems in times of the game to control the centre of the pitch,” the United boss admitted.

“From the very moment when we changed to a diamond in the last 20 minutes, when Donny came on, from then on we controlled the game, we had our counter-attack situations.”

There fact remains that Van de Beek still has a long way to go, yet to register a goal or assist so far this term.

But Rangnick’s acknowledgement shines a light on the road back for the Dutchman, who has lost his place in the Netherlands national team setup after being dropped by Oranjes boss Louis van Gaal.

Having also missed Euro 2020 through injury, Van de Beek is desperate to represent his country at the World Cup later this year.

As a result, transfer speculation has only increased since the summer, when Solskjaer blocked a loan move to Everton and reportedly told the playmaker he’d receive more game-time in 2021/22.

Van de Beek is reportedly still assessing his options regarding a transfer



And his successor also wants Van de Beek to stick around, despite seemingly being unwilling to trust him with significant starts.

“So far, as I have got to know him, he has got a top mentality,” Rangnick told reporters last week.

“He works hard in every training session. He is a team player through and through. There will be games where he will get his chance to play, I am sure.

“I also had a long conversation with him last week about that and again, of course, it is difficult for him right now because he also wants to play for the Dutch national team, he wants to qualify for himself and play in the World Cup in Qatar and in order to do that he needs to get game-time here.

“But I still believe we should keep him, and he should stay here, definitely until the end of this season and try to get as much game time as he possibly can.”

Van de Beek has made one start under Rangnick

In October, Van de Beek ditched agent Guido Albers and is now represented by Ali Dursun.

ESPN recently claimed that the perennial benchwarmer – still determined to prove himself in Manchester – is continuing to assess his options after a conversation with Rangnick.

The report goes on to explain that Van de Beek has ‘reservations’ over his new manager’s assurance that he’ll receive more minutes in the second half of the season.

If any loan move was to be sanctioned, the Red Devils would want the club taking him to cover his full wage until the end of the campaign and pay a loan fee.

Have your say! How did Man Utd fare against Aston Villa? Rate the players below.

Additionally, it’s believed that Rangnick will be given the final say on any transfer.

Despite the looming feeling that Van de Beek’s Old Trafford career will be remembered for his time on the bench, Monday’s 24 minutes on the pitch could lead to the acclaimed German coach following up on his behind-the-scenes promise.

With United’s other midfielders and forwards struggling to adjust to their new 4-2-2-2 system, things may have fallen into place for their tactically versatile outcast to – at long last – show what he can do.

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