Van de Beek accused by Van Basten of making Man Utd move with 'big boy' attitude

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Donny van de Beek has been accused by Marco van Basten of leaving Ajax for Manchester United with a "big boy" attitude, with the Dutch icon of the opinion that too many players depart Amsterdam believing that they have already made it.

Van de Beek is among those to have been brought down to earth with a bump after leaving the comfort zone of life in his native Netherlands.

A £35 million ($49m) switch to Old Trafford has not played out as planned for the 24-year-old midfielder, with only two Premier League starts taken in as questions are asked of his value to the Red Devils' cause.

What has been said?

Van Basten, who made his name at Ajax before going on to win the Ballon d'Or three times with AC Milan, told Ziggo Sport of Van de Beek and his struggles in England: "It just shows what a great life they have when they play at Ajax.

"They all think very quickly that they are a big boy here and can make it in other countries, but in the Netherlands, there is a nice competition.

"In a team like Ajax you are really helped, especially in the number 10 position. Then you often see that they go abroad and it is a different story."

Van Basten added on how Van de Beek can turn things around: "You have to be able to take care of yourself.

"If you go to a club in another country, you have to be able to present yourself in that team in a way that the others will think: he is one of us and with him we are going to win."

Van de Beek's record at Man Utd

Donny van de Beek Manchester United 2020-21

Questions were asked of the role Van de Beek would play for United from the moment that he completed a big-money transfer.

There was no obvious spot for him in a midfield that already included Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes.

He has found out the hard way how tough life at a Premier League heavyweight can be, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continuing to favour other options.

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It may be that a rare opportunity to impress presents itself in a meeting with Leicester on Tuesday, as United shuffle their pack during a hectic run-in, but a regular role still appears unlikely.

With that in mind, it has been suggested that Van de Beek's time in England could be cut short after just 12 months.

Further reading