Van de Beek: Ten Hag reveals his best position

Erik ten Hag Donny van de Beek Manchester United
Photo: Getty images

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has revealed Donny van de Beek is at his best when playing as an attacking-midfielder.

Former Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signed the midfielder from Ajax about two years ago but barely gave the Dutch midfielder a chance.

Van de Beek also struggled to force his way into Ralf Rangnick’s plans before joining Everton on loan in January.

However, Van de Beek failed to have the impact at Everton that he would have hoped for. His loan stint on Merseyside was dictated by injury woes, restricting him to just seven appearances.

The Dutch midfielder worked under Ten Hag at Ajax and there is optimism that he could get his career back on track.

Van de Beek replaced Bruno Fernandes at the start of the second-half in Manchester United’s 4-0 victory over Liverpool on Tuesday.

He was deployed in an advanced midfield position against Liverpool and Ten Hag believes that is the best position for the Dutch midfielder.

Ten Hag, speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Friday’s clash with Melbourne Victory, said: “He can do both [sit deep and play high] – I know that from the past. But his best position is his capabilities in the box of the opponent, so playing short behind the striker [is his best role].

“He has a really good smell for being in the right position.”

The Dutch midfielder has made just 50 appearances since joining United, scoring just two goals. His last strike for the club came in Solskjaer’s final game in charge last November.