Van de Beek’s final, final chance

There would have been no complaints had Donny van de Beek dropped out of the side against Aston Villa. Instead, he kept his place in the same attacking midfield role he had occupied for the last two matches.

No matter what the Dutchman was going to do on the night, it wouldn’t really have mattered. He struggled against the same opposition in a more important game five days earlier, and the second-string nature of the fixture was obvious mitigation even if he had shone. It’s just as well then that he didn’t.

Van de Beek looked rusty in possession of the ball and once again failed to impose himself despite playing in the position that Erik ten Hag believes is his best.

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It really is hard to make any further argument for him at United, and having failed under three different managers, few would complain if this were to be his last Old Trafford season.