Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek has said that he needs to earn his role under manager Erik ten Hag and cannot expect any favours.
Van de Beek was loaned out to Everton at the beginning of the year, and there were suggestions that he could leave United during the summer.
However, the scenario has changed with Ten Hag’s appointment. The 52-year-old previously managed him at Ajax for three-and-a-half seasons.
In an interview relayed by Manchester Evening News, Van de Beek said that he can’t expect any favours despite his familiarity with Ten Hag.
The Netherlands international added that the close relationship with the manager means ‘nothing’ and he still needs to prove himself at United.
He said: “Of course everyone was saying that because I worked with him at Ajax, but, in the end, you have to play good from yourself and it doesn’t make any sense who is the coach.”
“You have to find your role in the team and, of course, he knows me as a player, but that means nothing. I have to show it for myself.”
Meanwhile, the 25-year-old has insisted that he won’t change his natural way of playing despite enduring a tough couple of seasons in the Premier League with the Red Devils.
He added: “I will never change as a player. You can improve things, but you never have to change and I will not do that.”
Van de Beek has chance for redemption
The midfielder’s career with the Red Devils has been quite frustrating, considering he has failed to establish himself as a starting player under three different managers.
He now has a fresh opportunity under Ten Hag who should know his strengths and weaknesses. Van de Beek’s position has been regularly debated, but Ten Hag recently said that he is best suited for the number 10 role.
Bruno Fernandes has made the position his own over the past two-and-a-half seasons, but the Portuguese can’t take his place for granted either as Ten Hag may not entertain inconsistent performances.
Van de Beek, who delivered an assist for United against Crystal Palace yesterday, may feel that he has the chance to make a mark, but it won’t be straightforward after the signing of Christian Eriksen.
Similar to Van de Beek, Eriksen can play in central or attacking midfield, but we have seen from his Tottenham Hotspur days that he is most comfortable from the latter of those positions.
Competition for places is a must at the club of United’s calibre and as Van de Beek said, he must earn his spot. The £22.5 million-rated star will be hoping to impress in upcoming pre-season games.
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