Manchester United have “missed a trick” with Donny van de Beek, with Paul Merson backing Frank Lampard to revive the midfielder’s career at Goodison Park.
The central midfielder was hoping to leave Manchester United on a temporary basis after featuring just eight times in the Premier League this term. Leeds were also considering an approach, while interest also came from Everton and Newcastle.
As it was, Van de Beek, 24, went on to join Everton on transfer deadline day. His arrival coincided with the appointment of Frank Lampard, a legendary midfielder who will now hope to influence the Dutchman’s game.
And Arsenal hero Merson is backing Van de Beek to get his career back on track with the Toffees.
The pundit is also highly critical of United’s treatment of their £40m signing from Ajax. Indeed, he started just 11 games during his 16 months under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s management.
“I felt sorry for Donny van de Beek at Manchester United,” Merson told Sportskeeda.
“He never moaned and just got on with it. I think Manchester United have missed a trick here. He’s a very good player and I think he’ll be very successful at Everton.
“Frank Lampard can get Van de Beek’s career going. He was a top player at Ajax but fell behind the eight-ball at Manchester United.”
Merson on midfielder’s Old Trafford failure
Asked why he may have fallen short at United, Merson had an interesting theory.
“At a club of that stature, you need to hit the ground running the minute you’re at the club. At United though, he was never given a chance. If it wasn’t going right for United, he was always the first to come off.
“The environment at Everton might suit him. They’re nowhere near as massive a club in the Premier League. As such, the expectations won’t be as big either.
“He’ll be able to relax and play the football he played at Ajax that got him to Manchester United in the first place.”
Van de Beek will be hoping to make his Everton debut in Tuesday night’s Premier League clash at Newcastle United.
Leeds passed over chance to sign Van de Beek
Van de Beek may have found himself moving across the Pennines to Leeds United. As it was, Marcelo Bielsa’s side ignored their rivals’ offer, with the Dutchman ‘not fitting their profile’.
Asked exactly what that means, The Athletic’s Phil Hay offered his thoughts.
“Van de Beek, again, was considered not to be the right fit. I can’t explain what that exactly means.
“But I think you can surmise that it’s a lot of factors. It’s fitness, perhaps his exact style, possibly ego, possibly the thought of, ‘will this guy play?’. Or, ‘is he going to be in my starting lineup?’
“You have to factor in that [he’s] a very expensive player with quite a high profile. Is he right to put into the dressing room? For one reason or another, Leeds didn’t take that up.”