Rio Ferdinand explains "big thing" holding Donny van de Beek back at Man Utd

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has explained the "big thing" that is denying Donny van de Beek a regular starting berth at Old Trafford.

A £35 million signing from Ajax in 2020, van de Beek has struggled for game time since making a move to the Premier League with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferring star man Bruno Fernandes to the Dutchman in the centre of midfield.

The 24-year-olds only 90 minutes for United this season came in the 1-0 defeat to West Ham in the League Cup.

Van de Beek did start in Man Utd's Champions League opener against BSdC Young Boys but was hooked at half-time after the red card to Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Now ex-centre-back Rio Ferdinand has weighed in on why he believes the Netherlands midfielder hasn't found his feet since arriving in Manchester.

“I think the big thing with Donny van de Beek, and he’s a great guy, we’ve had him on the show before, he’s a really calm, relaxed guy," said Ferdinand speaking on his YouTube channel.

“I think this is a funny situation because if he was a bad guy and he was volatile and he was loud, he’d be gone. He wouldn’t be at Man United.

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“And sometimes when you’re too nice maybe, or you’re nice about a situation and you’re polite, you might not get the situation that you really require for yourself.

"And I think that’s probably the problem for someone like Donny van de Beek.”

With Solskjaer having a wealth of midfield options the Dutchman's quiet personality could be one reason for the lack of game time.

Vying with the likes of Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard for a starting spot, van de Beek's unwillingness to knock on the manager's door might be doing him no favours.

But Ferdinand remains adamant that the situation can still turn for the former Ajax man:

“It’s crazy because I saw him the other day, I spoke to him,” said the player-turned-pundit.

“I said to him, ‘Regardless of what happens, man, just work hard’ and I think he said that on the show.

“And I said to him, ‘These experiences are what build people, they build you as a human being but they build you as a player: the character, the personality. And I think in time you’ll look back and think that made me stronger.’

“He will never see it now, but he’ll look back and go, ‘You know what, that helped make me get stronger’ and he can use this to fuel him and push him on in the next phase of his career when it comes.”

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