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Donny van de Beek will be aiming to get his career back on track after being reunited with Erik ten Hag at Man United.
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has admitted that he believes Donny van de Beek is at his best when playing as an attacking-midfielder.
The midfielder, who joined United almost two years ago from Ajax, will be aiming to get his career back on track this term after a difficult first two seasons in England.
After struggling to force his way into either Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s or Ralf Rangnick’s plans last term, he joined Everton on loan for the remainder of the season in January.
However, the Dutchman, who stepped off the bench during United’s 4-0 win over Liverpool in Thailand on Tuesday, failed to have the impact at Goodison Park that he would have hoped for.
His loan stint on Merseyside was dictated by injury woes, restricting him to just seven appearances.
But now that Ten Hag, who worked with Van de Beek at Ajax, has taken charge at Old Trafford, there is a sense of optimism that he could get his career back on track.
United, despite their need for fresh faces in midfield, are already well-stocked in that area of the team, meaning competition for places is high.
The Dutchman stepped off the bench at half-time against Liverpool, replacing Bruno Fernandes, meaning he was deployed in the advanced-midfield berth.
And that is the area that Ten Hag believes Van de Beek can be the most effective in.
Ten Hag, at his pre-match press conference ahead of Friday’s clash with Melbourne Victory, said: “He can do both [sit deep and play high] – I know that from the past. But his best position is his capabilities in the box of the opponent, so playing short behind the striker [is his best role].
“He has a really good smell for being in the right position.”
Van de Beek has made just 50 appearances since joining United, scoring just two goals. His last strike for the club came in Solskjaer’s final game in charge last November.