Edwin van der Sar says he feels ‘sad’ that Donny van de Beek’s transfer move to Manchester United has not worked out so far amid speculations his stay at Old Trafford will be forced to continue.
The Dutchman joined United in a £40million deal from Ajax last summer in what was their biggest deal of the window, but he has struggled to make an impact at the club.
Van de Beek has started only two Premier League games under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer while he has not started a single game in the Europa League and was even an unused substitute in the 6-2 semi-final victory over Roma.
The Red devils are blessed with many options in midfield, with players like Fred, McTominay, Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Bruno Fernandes all ahead of Van de Beek in the pecking order.
His struggles have seen him linked with an exit from the club, with a return to Ajax even rumoured, but recent reports say United will not allow him leave this summer even though he is not in Solskjaer’s plans.
Now Van der Sar, the former United keeper who is the chief executive at Ajax, has discussed Van de Beek’s situation and says he is disappointed with how things have worked out for the midfielder.
Asked about the player’s predicament at United, Van der Sar told ESPN: ‘Of course I feel sad for Donny. ‘He walked the perfect path before joining United. He joined the [Ajax] first team from the academy, became a starter, won trophies, performed in Europe.
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‘But the midfield of Manchester United is too stacked, they’ve not had any injuries. It’s hard for him.’
Van der Sar, who has been linked with a return to United to take over from Ed Woodward when he steps down as executive-vice chairman at the end of the year, had previously urged supporters to be patient with Van de Beek.
‘I do talk to more people at the club. He’s got a fantastic attitude, he is doing well in training,’ Van der Sar told Ziggo Sport this year.
‘It’s hard. Pogba is coming back, Fernandes is very important, Matic and McTominay, who are there.
‘There’s no shame at all, it’s a big club too, isn’t it? Of course it is a large amount [the transfer fee], but they are confident that he will get there.’