Donny van de Beek has battled to break into Manchester United’s starting eleven. On Tuesday night, the Dutch midfielder was gifted the rare opportunity to start against Bournemouth.
Sadly, a knee injury sustained during the Premier League clash now threatens the end of the 25-year-old’s United career (via AD).
Misfortune and a bleak outlook
The playmaker has endured a torrid time at Old Trafford but, to his credit, has continued fighting for a spot in Erik ten Hag’s team.
Unbeknown to van de Beek, his worst nightmare was about to come true after finally getting a start.
The culprit was none other than Bournemouth’s Marcos Senesi.
The ex-Feyenoord player shot through the air and slid across the rain-soaked grass to win the ball from Van de Beek. The Ref Watch panel agreed there was no malicious intent.
Nonetheless, the resultant tackle left Van de Beek writhing in pain with his knee positioned unnaturally to the side.
The incident occurred moments before halftime. The pain-defying Dutchman bravely walked to the sideline.
In a post-game interview, boss Ten Hag struggled to offer hope to the Old Trafford faithful, saying, “It looks bad.”
The chances for a quick recovery look grim for the Dutch midfielder. It effectively appears to end Van de Beek’s United dream.
Where it all began
Van de Beek joined United from Ajax on 2 September 2020 and was up against staunch competition under then-coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
He also failed to adapt to Solskjaer’s preferred style of play. However, there seemed to be light at the end of the tunnel when Solskjaer resigned.
Despite the appointment of temporary boss Ralf Rangnick, Van de Beek was loaned out to Everton – United’s next FA Cup opponent.
Due to injury, Van de Beek failed to get regular games. During his tenure with the Toffees, a groin injury kept the playmaker off the pitch for eight successive games.
The arrival of Ten Hag offered United’s No.34 some respite from his woes at Goodison Park. The respite was sadly short-lived as, once again, injury and stiff competition for a midfield position kept the Dutch midfielder out.
In April, Van de Beek turns 26. Time is not on the player’s side, and a blossoming career with Manchester United is quickly beginning to look beyond his reach.