Jermaine Jenas reckons Donny van de Beek should leave Man Utd if he wants to become a “special player” again.
Much was expected of Van de Beek when he signed for the Red Devils from Ajax in the summer for an initial 39 million euros (£34.1m), but he has so far failed to live up those high hopes.
The Netherlands international has made 25 appearances this season for Man Utd but he has only made two Premier League starts.
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Van de Beek started in United’s 1-0 FA Cup fifth round victory over West Ham on Tuesday but he was taken off on 73 minutes after having little impact on the game.
And Jenas reckons that Van de Beek needs a move to avoid becoming a “side dish” at Old Trafford.
“Its a tough one, because it was a strange move in the first place for Donny to go there,” Jenas told the Daily Mirror.
“It is very similar to the issue Tottenham have with finding a replacement for Harry Kane, which is why they’ve never found anyone of close quality.
“People know they’re not going to play. The only way you get the best out of any player is you fill them with confidence – especially players like him – by playing them every week, making them feel part of the project and showing that they’re not just the side dish.
“When he was at Ajax I saw a player that was a problem for teams, arriving late in the box, scoring goals. At the minute he just plays safe and because of the position he plays he’s always being compared to another player – they’re best player.
“We can take this back as far as you want – could you imagine if there was a foil to Cantona or Beckham – it just doesn’t happen. Its kind of one position, its not as if he’s part of the two in midfield where they can mix it up.
“Unfortunately the only way I see him getting back to a confident state and playing again is to move. He needs to be the special player.”