Donny van de Beek has been told he has ‘got to show more for Manchester United’ by club legend Mark Hughes, who claims his teammates ‘do not trust him’.
The midfielder was handed a rare start for United’s FA Cup fifth round tie against West Ham on Tuesday night, with Paul Pogba ruled out with injury and Bruno Fernandes rested.
But his struggles on the pitch continued in his latest quiet and ineffectual outing for the Red Devils, with the Dutchman eventually replaced by Fernandes in the second-half.
Van de Beek has been a bit-part player since his £39million arrival from Ajax in the summer, with Dutch football fans frustrated by how the move has worked out for one of the Netherlands’ top players.
The Dutch press have even urged the midfielder to return to his homeland, having been used mostly off the bench by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has maintained the 23-year-old has a place in his squad.
But United legend Hughes has been disappointed with his performances so far in a Red Devils shirt, and says he ‘doesn’t deserve’ more than his current bit-part role.
After his poor first-half performance, talkSPORT pundit Andy Townsend said on Tuesday night: “We’re not seeing it from Donny van de Beek, he looks a bit lost, he doesn’t quite look like he understands where to go and where to run in this team.”
And United legend Hughes, who was alongside Townsend at Old Trafford, replied: “No, that’s right.
“You just sense… it looks like they don’t trust him with the ball yet.
“When the likes of Fred and Matic look up and they see Rashford, they see Martial, they see Greenwood, who is still a young player but has great talent, it’s like they defer to them, their first thought is to pass to them.
“Van de Beek, I haven’t seen a great deal of movement, I haven’t seen little movements to get in pockets of space, even though you suspect that’s the player he is and those are the areas he wants to work in.
“He’s been disappointing again. He’s playing for Manchester United, a huge club, he’s got to show more than he’s showing at the moment.”
Fernandes replaced Van de Beek in the 74th minute, with Solskjaer calling upon his talisman to inject more attacking prowess into his midfield against an organised Hammers side.
And for Hughes and Townsend, the difference between the players is clear.
“Where Bruno Fernandes has been very good, when you look for somebody he’s the first one you see when you pick your head up, he’s the first one who seems to find a bit of space, you rattle a ball into him and you let him do what he does,” said Townsend.
“It must be hard, when you’ve got a player you’ve spent money on to get him through the door, you don’t want to keep taking him off the field.”
But Hughes said that role is all he deserves based on his performances for the club.
“Yeah you want to give the boy a chance, and he probably feels a bit aggrieved that he hasn’t had a run of games, he’s probably feeling a bit hard done by,” said the three-time FA Cup winner with United.
“But you have to say, given what he’s produced in the time he’s had, he doesn’t deserve more than that.
“So he’s got to show more.”