Van de Beek troubles at Manchester United down to poor recruitment, claims ex-Red Devils star Hargreaves

Donny van de Beek Manchester United 2020
The former midfielder doesn't understand why his old club decided to invest heavily in a player in the same mould as Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba

Donny van de Beek's troubles at Manchester United are down to the club's poor recruitment policy over the summer, according to Owen Hargreaves.

Van de Beek opted to continue his development at Old Trafford at the start of September after months of speculation over his future, having also been strongly linked with Real Madrid.

United forked out an initial fee of £35 million ($45m) to sign the Netherlands international from Ajax, where he had firmly established himself as one of the most talented midfielders in European football.

The 23-year-old has not yet been given the chance to build on that reputation in Manchester though, with his four Premier League appearances coming from the bench and his only two starts being in EFL Cup wins over Luton Town and Brighton.

Van de Beek was an unused substitute during United's last top-flight outing against Chelsea, which ended in a 0-0 draw, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has since insisted that he will have a key role to play as the season progresses.

"It says a lot about our depth of quality that we don't have to use him in every game, it says it all about our ambitions," the Norwegian said ahead of a Champions League encounter with RB Leipzig on Wednesday. "You don't have to start the first three games to know you're an important part of the squad.

"I'd be disappointed if some of my team-mates said I wasn't important at Manchester United but I didn't start many games. Donny will be very, very important for us. Don't worry about that."

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However, Hargreaves has now joined the long list of pundits to question the Red Devils' decision to bring in Van de Beek, with it his belief that the club went about their business in the summer market in a haphazard manner.

Asked why he thinks the ex-Ajax star has been starved of action at the start of his Old Trafford career, the ex-United star told BT Sport: "Because they have two eights in there in Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba. Again it comes down to recruitment. Liverpool, when they need something, they get something they don't have.

"I'm sure he is going to get a run of games but when you spend £40 million on a player you'd like to think he'd play, but I think Ole will find a place when it's available."