Football at the elite level is a cut-throat business, with players often cut entirely after a few bad games. Sure, fans look at the fact that players are paid regardless and think it must not be so bad. However, for players at the elite level, having your game time cut short is a tough thing to accept. Even moreso when the player in question has enjoyed a strong career prior to arriving at their current club. A penny for the thoughts, then, of Danny van de Beek.
The midfielder, who was heavily linked with Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund prior to arriving at Old Trafford, has so far been a flop. Unable to get a regular game, he played for the first time from the start this season in the 2-1 reverse in Switzerland. The player came off at half time, with United forced to change the shape after Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off.
And now there is a consensus among fans – and ex-players – that the time for the ex-Ajax man to get it together has been and gone. Indeed, many expect the player to leave this summer to come – and former United forward Dimitar Berbatov agrees.
Speaking to Betfair, the Bulgarian was quick to write off the chances of the midfielder in the future. With so little shown in his time at Old Trafford, it would appear that an exit in January or the summer of 2022 looks almost certain at this point.
What did Dimitar Berbatov say about Donny Van de Beek?
Speaking about the position of the player at the moment, the former United record signing was not exactly complementary. Asked what he thought the future held for Van de Beek, Berbatov stated: "Van de Beek looks lost. He is running out of time to save his United career. He started against Young Boys but was substituted at half-time. This has been the story of his time at the club.
"If he plays, he's brought off. If he comes on, he gets 10 minutes. He never gets the chance to settle and show what he can do. It's just not working out for Van de Beek. It's a pity because United paid big money for him. But this is what happens when you spend money just to satisfy your fans.
"I still hope he gets a proper chance but it is going to be very difficult for him and the club may decide to cut their losses, if they can."
It is a fair assessment of what has so far been a total waste of a signing for United. The player has failed to live up to expectation or the pressure of playing for United. At the same time, a loss of any kind of confidence is hard to overcome when the player is perpetually taken off as a substitute, or brought on in garbage time.
At the moment, what seemed like a very astute signing in the summer of 2020 is beginning to look like a pretty serious waste of money.