Injuries affected Van de Beek at Manchester United, but Ten Hag urges prospective players not to be deterred by his experience.
At the age of 26, Donny van de Beek has entered a loan agreement with Eintracht Frankfurt until the conclusion of the season. He struggled to secure a regular position under three different managers—Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ralf Rangnick, and Ten Hag—since his arrival from Ajax in the summer of 2020 at Manchester United.
The midfielder, valued at £35 million, managed only 23 starts throughout his three and a half years at Old Trafford. He had a previous loan stint with Everton during the second half of the 2021-22 season, where once again, injuries restricted his playing time at Goodison Park.
Van de Beek only started in 23 games at Manchester United since 2020
Despite collaborating with Van de Beek at Ajax, Ten Hag’s attempt to reunite in Manchester and rejuvenate the midfielder’s fortunes proved misplaced.
“He has had many injuries, first of all. From the first moment I came in here at Manchester United, he wasn’t the player he was at Ajax because he was injured. So many times he was not available and then he struggled for a long time to recover from that injury.
“That is probably the main reason why he was not playing. We decided for a loan in the summer but it didn’t come and then his opportunities are few because also we make appointments and we make agreements with players and contract players in that position. The competition was high.”
Several players, including Van de Beek, who made big-money moves to United in recent seasons, have struggled to meet expectations. Jadon Sancho, a £72million winger, is on the brink of a loan departure this transfer window following a public disagreement with Ten Hag.
However, when questioned whether Van de Beek’s experience might make others hesitant about joining Old Trafford, Ten Hag expressed a differing opinion.
He added: “That is always on those players and how much confidence you have in your capabilities. But I can tell you one thing – the Premier League is tough. Man United, that is tough to play there because it’s more easy to play in almost any other team than Man United because the pressure is that high always.
“You have to deal with that. But if you have confidence in yourself, this is the best challenge and this is definitely the best club you want to be at as a player. It depends on player to player, and it depends especially on the character of the player, their personality.”