‘It’s difficult if you’re not really in the team… if the moment is there, I have to be ready’: Donny van de Beek opens up to Rio Ferdinand on the mental struggles of being frozen out at Manchester United
- Van de Beek joined the Red Devils in August 2020 for an initial £35million fee
- The Dutch midfielder scored on his debut in a 3-2 defeat against Crystal Palace
- But the 24-year-old was not given many opportunities to play in the first team
- And the former Ajax star revealed the mental difficulties of not playing regularly
- He said he hopes his work rate and a positive attitude will see him feature more
Donny van de Beek has opened up on the mental difficulties of being frozen out of the first-team picture at Manchester United in a frank interview.
The Dutchman’s opportunities have been few and far between in his first season at Old Trafford, only featuring in half the club’s Premier League games, most as a substitute.
And van de Beek told legendary former United defender Rio Ferdinand and Vibe with Five that not playing had knocked his confidence.
Donny van de Beek revealed his mental struggles after being frozen out at Manchester United
The Dutchman came off the bench to net in a 3-2 defeat against Crystal Palace on his debut
But the central midfielder received limited opportunities to play in the first team last season
He said: ‘It’s difficult if you’re not really in the team, you’re waiting for your chance. That’s not easy, if you’re not playing. Also not for the confidence. It’s normal you need a bit of time to adapt but of course you are not happy. I want to play, that is clear. It’s so hard (to deal with mentally).
‘I train really hard every day, I try to improve and just wait for your chance, that’s the only thing I can do. If the moment is there, I have to be ready, it’s as simple as that. Be close with the players… be part of the team. If you’re not playing, try to help them and be positive. You can’t sit there and be angry, that’s not the key to come in.’
The central midfielder, 24, signed for the Red Devils for an initial £35million from Ajax in August 2020 but has failed to break into a prosaic midfield engine room, with Scott McTominay, Fred and Nemanja Matic ahead of him in the pecking order.
Van de Beek was speaking on a show hosted by Red Devils legend Rio Ferdinand (bottom left)
And he claimed that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left) told him he needed him this season
And the 19-cap Netherlands international admitted he felt angry about his situation at times, but underlined the importance of staying positive and revealed boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told him he needed him this season.
He added: ‘Of course, sometimes you are angry, every player has that, but you’re not going to show them if you don’t train hard any more. Then you give a reason for the manager to play without you. Don’t show (a bad) attitude. The key is always being positive, you can improve every day. Being angry is not helping the team.
‘The manager was really positive about me and said “I need you, I want to keep you here”. He said, “I see a different Donny now”. I hope I can show people I have improved a lot now. I have to play more. You can train hard every day but you need game time. If you play once a month, you cannot show your best.’