Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United is “bad news” for out-of-favour midfielder Donny Van de Beek, according to his agent Guido Albers.
Van de Beek arrived from Eredivisie giants Ajax amid plenty of fanfare ahead of the 2020-21 season but the Netherlands international has continued to be overlooked by United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The 24-year-old has been an unused substitute in United’s opening three Premier League games of the 2021-22 campaign, having made just four starts in the league last term.
Van de Beek, who had a deadline-day move to Everton blocked, could now see his prospects of game time further hampered following the Old Trafford comeback of superstar Ronaldo.
“Cristiano arrived on Friday which we knew was bad news for us. Pogba plays on the left, and with Cristiano’s arrival it means another extra player in midfield, with Pogba moving away from the left,” Albers told Ziggo Sport.
“We had conversations with Solskjaer and the board. We took the initiative to find a club and our search ended up at Everton. We opened talks with Marcel Brands and Farhad Moshiri.
“On Monday night [before deadline day] we received a call from Solskjaer and the club who told us that a transfer was out of question and that he had to report himself to training the next morning.”
United won three and lost one of the four games Van de Beek started in the league last season for a 75 per cent win rate.
That dropped to 52.9 per cent in the other 34 matches the Red Devils started without the Dutchman, while their average goals scored fell from 2.3 with Van de Beek to 1.9 without.
Van de Beek led the way for United in the Premier League in 2020-21 in terms of tackles won per 90 minutes (1.75), meanwhile, and Paul Pogba (2.09) was the only midfielder to play more than once to complete more dribbles per 90 minutes than Van de Beek’s 1.4.
Albers added: “The perspective now is that we stated that Donny is not a Carabao Cup player, or FA Cup player, or to play only in European games. Donny went to England to play in the Premier League.
“The way the conversation went this time [with Solskjaer] compared to last summer… things are much more clear now. I have full expectations that Donny will get his chance now.
“Donny worked extremely hard in the summer. He only had seven days off. The rest of the summer he trained to become top fit. He is totally ready.”