Juan Mata is a No.10 who didn’t play as much for Man United, and his legacy may be to show them the way.
Donny van de Beek showed admirable optimism by like Ajax’s Instagram post revealing Erik ten Hag will be leaving the tranquillity of the River Amster for the turbulent River Irwell.
Van de Beek and Memphis Depay were both unsuccessful signings for Manchester United. Van van Beek has been out of action for about two months.
Van de Beek has a thigh injury and Everton’s doctors may want to check his intestines to see whether he can stomach a relegation battle. Even though Van de Beek was seen practicing at Finch Farm this week, Frank Lampard’s first moves to sign him and Dele Alli were unusual.
A passing stat against Go Ahead Eagles or a bizarre Champions League knockout run three years ago are less important than Van de Beek’s two seasons in English football and their tight relationship with Ten Hag. If Manchester United had an authoritative and progressive manager in place, Van de Beek would have a reserved seat in the departures lounge for the remainder of the season.
Van de Beek has been granted a reprieve as a result of Ten Hag’s appointment. When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer couldn’t find a replacement for Jack Grealish, Van de Beek was drafted as a fall-back option (James Maddison). Van de Beek’s former agent was so clueless that he is no longer his client’s representative. In the few games he played, Van de Beek failed to impress, and his mentality is so questionable that he wanted to join Everton on a season-long loan in August, but was denied.
Everton failed to make any progress with Davy Klaassen, who had been re-signed by Ten Hag to replace Van de Beek at Ajax. Because of the failure of the £26.3million misfit Depay and the £40million investment in Van van Beek, United are naturally hesitant of recruiting players from the Eredivisie.
United mastered the dominating football that Ralf Rangnick has longed for against Brentford, thanks to an exquisite playmaker behind a central striker. Van de Beek was the 10 in the enthralling Ajax team of 2018-19. So much so that Cristiano Ronaldo postponed his famous celebration in order to embrace Juan Mata after scoring what was ultimately disallowed by referee Roberto Martinez.
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Van de Beek struck up a quick friendship with Mata. When asked about Van de Beek’s second appearance for Brighton in the League Cup, Mata responded, “He’s a very clever player.” “His ability to discover pockets and spaces makes playing with him a joy. He understands football in a style that I enjoy, which is playing one-twos, passing, and moving, and the goal was achieved in this manner….” The goal was scored as a result of a Van de Beek cross that found Mata in space.
When compared to Manchester United’s hapless number 10, Bruno Fernandes, who was moved to the left against Brentford, Van de Beek’s manner is more in line with Mata’s approach. It was only in the group games against Istanbul Basaksehir that Fernandes and Van de Beek made their league debuts together, as part of a diamond formation at Southampton. Fernandes positioned Van de Beek in the middle of the field.
United seems unable to go a year without awarding an absurd contract, and Fernandes is the recipient this year. Fernandes’ form has been dismal, and the announcement was made while the team was under the supervision of an interim manager, with Ten Hag still to be named.
The extension simply added a year to the contract’s expiration date, but it was a big gesture nonetheless. United protected Fernandes’s position ahead of a season in which he may inherit the number eight shirt, with little regard for Ten Hag’s intentions in the process.
Despite the fact that the game against Brentford had the feel of a testimonial, Thomas Frank’s side were intense and adventurous enough for United to secure the victory. The key to achieving this was having a flexible No.10 whose mode of operation is not hit-and-hope.
Having played without Fernandes for an extended period of time, it is difficult to determine whether he has been more of a hindrance than an aid to the team. The task for Fernandes entering a season in which Solskjaer intended to shift to a 4-3-3 system was to develop a controlling style, and he has failed miserably in that endeavor.
Both City and Liverpool have flexible forwards, but United do not, and these are two crucial qualities that City and Liverpool have that United do not. Fernandes has suffered amid United’s identity crisis but Kevin de Bruyne’s role is entirely linked with Pep Guardiola’s style.
With Sporting Lisbon and Portugal, Fernandes’ willingness to take risks was evident, and he was finally recruited by Manchester United five months after the club expressed their displeasure with the Fernandes rumor. United placed a bet on a player who is known for taking punts.
With the turnstiles locked, the ends justified the means, but with the return of the crowds and the raising of expectations, all Fernandes has accomplished is to raise his salary. Fernandes has started 12 more league games than De Bruyne this season, making a direct comparison impossible. However, Fernandes’ passing accuracy is only 0.4 percent better than De Bruyne’s, making the comparison inconclusive.
No longer can Fernandes conceal himself behind the misleading term “goal contributions,” which is statistical padding guff that doubtless influenced his advisers’ negotiations. Rangnick has recommended that United sign two’modern strikers,’ that is, goal-scoring forwards who are not restricted in their movement. It’s a good thing Fernandes scored from the left flank on Monday night to snap a two-month goal drought.
Under Solskjaer, Van de Beek began his career in this location.