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Donny van de Beek can't get a game for love nor money at the moment - but it certainly isn't for the want of trying.
In the wake of Manchester United's humiliating 5-0 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday, one lone player could be seen completing running drills on the Old Trafford turf, long after the fans had gone home - that being the former Ajax man.
Van de Beek has played just three times so far this season, starting only one of those against West Ham United in the Carabao Cup.
Unsurprisingly, he didn't manage to get off the bench against Liverpool either, with Paul Pogba instead being introduced as a second-half sub.
The Frenchman lasted only minutes before being sent off for a rash tackle on Liverpool's Naby Keita.
For many, it represented an attitude problem at the heart of the club, so Van de Beek's contrastingly professional approach, in spite of his dire situation, impressed a lot of fans.
Only one man left doing his runs with a coach - poor Donny van de Beek. :flag_nl:- Shane Hannon (@ShaneHannon01) October 24, 2021
Penny for the thoughts of the £35m signing that can't get into a midfield that played like that today... pic.twitter.com/ey7asv55ZL
As @ShaneHannon01 pointed out on Twitter, it must be a bitter pill to swallow for the 24-year-old, as the players who got selected ahead of him to play against Liverpool didn't exactly cover themselves in glory.
Many of the responses to the original Tweet were sympathetic towards van de Beek, with some speculating that the midfielder would like to go back to Ajax - where the academy graduate first made his name.
Poor lad suffering at the expense of a club/management that have no plan whatsoever- Colm McKenna (@copper1401) October 24, 2021
Bet he wished he was back at Ajax.- Palmer Thing (@PalmerTheThing) October 24, 2021
The Dutch international was a standout under Erik ten Hag, playing a seminal role in Ajax's run to the Champions League Semi-final back in 2019.
Van de Beek's form earned him a £35 million move to Manchester United the following summer, although it's fair to say that Solskjaer hasn't warmed to his big-money signing.
Should the Norwegian manager be sacked in the coming days, as some reports suggest he will, a van de Beek redemption at Old Trafford could still be possible.
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