Football

Van de Beek urged to find same ‘edge’ as Fernandes as Chadwick says Man Utd midfielder hasn’t ‘found his feet’

The ex-Red Devils winger feels the Dutch international needs to take inspiration from those around him after a slow start to life at Old Trafford

Donny van de Beek needs to look at Bruno Fernandes for inspiration at Manchester United says Luke Chadwick, with the Dutchman being challenged to replicate the “edge” possessed by the Portuguese playmaker.

Van de Beek is yet to show that he is up to the task at Old Trafford, and his suitability to English football has been called into question amid a struggle for regular game time under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Netherlands international has been used sporadically since completing his move from Ajax in the summer of 2020, with fierce competition for midfield spots at United.

Fernandes is very much the main man with his talismanic showings helping to push a success-starved outfit into contention for major honours.

Van de Beek has not come close to hitting those heights, and Chadwick wants to see him take his game in a different direction.

The former Red Devils winger told CaughtOffside: “I’m not sure he’s really found his feet in terms of United’s style of play – passing forward quickly. He’s an extremely technical player in that Ajax mould where they dominate possession in almost every game in the Dutch league.

“He’s more than happy to keep the ball ticking over, whereas when Bruno Fernandes plays you can see that bit more edge to it, always looking for the forward pass, looking to start attacks, break the lines and get in behind the opposition defence.

“I think there’s still a lot of work for Van de Beek to do to find his feet, but obviously to do that he needs to play.

“The team seems to be in the best place they’ve been all season in terms of results and performances, so it’s going to be a struggle for him to get into that Premier League team at the moment, particularly with the way Paul Pogba’s playing and with what Fernandes offers the team.

“Hopefully in the next round [of the FA Cup] against West Ham we’ll see him play again, finding his feet and taking steps forward and making that mark we all know he’s capable of doing at the club.”

Van de Beek started United’s last FA Cup outing, as they edged past Liverpool 3-2 to reach the fifth-round, but was back on the bench for the Premier League meeting with Sheffield United and saw just eight minutes of action towards the end of a disappointing 2-1 defeat.

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