Paul Pogba’s recent injury is a personal setback for him and an opportunity for Manchester United.
Donny van de Beek not only opens up the chance to promote Hannibal to the first-team squad, but also has a real chance at regular time.
For Van de Beek, this is a crucial phase and time in his Manchester United career.
When Pogba was injured last season, Van de Beek was injured at the same time due to poor luck. This year the Dutchman is in full health.
(Photo by Ash Donelon / Manchester United via Getty Images)
A chance to get started
The numbers don’t make a nice read. Van de Beek hasn’t started a single Premier League game this season and has played fewer minutes in competition than Dan James, who was sold in late August.
Van de Beek has been an idle substitute in nine of United’s last eleven league games.
But in order to see this positively in the future, Van de Beek was substituted on in the last two games, in the Champions League against Atalanta and in the league defeat against Manchester City.
This shows that Solskjaer may come up with the idea of using Van de Beek more – although questions remain as to whether the Norwegian is in charge.
Whoever is in charge, Van de Beek has to make this magic work between now and January.
There will be interest in him by January, the clubs have already identified him as a potential target, either for loan or permanent transfer, due to his lack of football at United and continued absence from the Dutch squad.
So United have to convince Van de Beek to stay in the coming weeks by giving him opportunities.
Van de Beek must also seize the opportunities that arise and make the most of them.
A steady run in the team will help, rather than the intermittent chances he’s got this season and last. And this will allow United to judge him better.
It’s entirely possible Van de Beek isn’t the player United have been hoping for. But it’s really hard to gauge him properly when he doesn’t have the opportunity.
(Photo by Alex Livesey – Danehouse / Getty Images)
If Van de Beek’s situation continues unchanged over the next few weeks, then the writing will be on the wall.
Pogba’s injury gives United an opportunity to change Van de Beek’s fortune.
And possibly it could either save or change the Dutchman’s Old Trafford career.
What happens until January is a chance for a fresh start. If he can establish himself as a regular and key player, the previous is forgotten.
This will be a crucial time for Van de Beek, who hopefully can move into January with some clarity about his position, one way or another.
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