‘Master’ coach Eric ten Hagg couldn’t save him. Eventually, Donny van der Beek leaves Manchester United. His destination is Real Sociedad.
Van der Vaart was one of the key players when Ajax won the Dutch Eredivisie title, reached the last four of the European Champions League (UCL), and was a protege of Van Gaal.
Van der Vaart moved to United for the 2020-21 season on the back of his performances at Ajax and was expected to add energy to United’s midfield with his high work rate, excellent off-the-ball ability, and willingness to get involved in defense.
However, he never really got the chance to play. In 2020-21, he made 36 appearances, including 15 starts, but this season he hasn’t been a first-choice option for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, coming on as a substitute in most of his appearances with only a few minutes left to play. He opted to go on loan to Everton to get some game time, but it wasn’t successful, and he returned to United last season.
There was a silver lining, though. Ahead of last season, expectations were high with the appointment of his former coach at Ajax, Guus van Gaal. The two had enjoyed some of their best years together at Ajax, so many hoped he could get van der Vaal back to his old form.
Van der Beek didn’t immediately break into the starting lineup, but he raised expectations when he came off the bench in three consecutive English Premier League (EPL) matches after the opening day. Injury intervened, however, and he was sidelined for nearly two months. Van der Beek returned at the end of October and started to get some playing time again.
But then the worst happened. In early January, van der Beek started against Bournemouth. He was given a chance to start, but was injured just before the end of the first half and had to be substituted. He was scanned and declared out for the season. His old mentor at Ajax took over, but he didn’t play much and his season was over.
As a result, van der Vaart’s departure from United became more likely. With the arrival of Mason Mount, competition for a starting spot became more difficult, as the club already had plenty of quality midfielders in Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Fred and Scott McTominay.
Next stop: Real Sociedad. “Real Sociedad approached Manchester United today (Jan. 1) about the signing of Van der Vaart,” transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano wrote on social media. “This is the first official contact with United after initial discussions with the player’s representatives last week. It will depend on the terms decided by United.”스포츠토토
“Manchester United midfielder van der Vaart is in talks with Sociedad over a move,” the BBC reported.