A Red Devils legend has been left surprised by a £35 million ($47m) signing’s lack of playing time in the first half of the season
Rio Ferdinand has questioned the nature of Donny van de Beek’s contract negotiations before joining Manchester United, while urging Jesse Lingard to seek a transfer this month.
United reportedly saw off competition from La Liga champions Real Madrid to prise Van de Beek away from Ajax in the summer.
The Netherlands international arrived at Old Trafford boasting a sterling reputation as one of Europe’s most exciting young midfielders, but supporters have only been treated to glimpses of his talent over the last few months.
Van de Beek appeared in 21 games across all competitions for the Red Devils this season, but most of those outings have come from the bench, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer only starting the 23-year-old in two Premier League matches to date.
The former Ajax star was given a rare 90 minutes as United beat Watford in the third round of the FA Cup, and could be in line to retain his place when Solskjaer’s side take in a trip to Burnley in the top flight on Tuesday.
However, Ferdinand still cannot get his head around why Van de Beek has seen so little action since moving to Manchester, as he feels a guarantee of regular minutes should have been arranged as part of the deal which saw him join the Red Devils.
“I’m really surprised he’s not played more minutes,” The United legend told BT Sport prior to Saturday’s clash with Watford. “I’m 100% certain that he expected to play more.
“The interesting point with the whole van de Beek situation is, what was the conversation in negotiations coming here?
“When you negotiate a contract to go somewhere, you come into the football club knowing where you are, if you’re going to start, or are they going to have to work their way into the team.
“That’s the important part and we don’t know the answer yet. I’m sure from the soundings that his agent has been given off, he expected to be playing games and be a major part of this team.
“It hasn’t materialised so far, and he’s got a Euros to worry about if that goes ahead.”
Ferdinand also weighed in on the speculation surrounding Lingard’s future, with his run-out against Watford marking just his third appearance of the 2020-21 campaign.