Man Utd still aren't sure on Van de Beek's best position after more than a YEAR as Carrick hints at new role for him
MICHAEL CARRICK has revealed that Manchester United still don't know where Donny van de Beek should play – 15 months after signing him.
Man Utd caretaker manager Michael Carrick, 40, gave van de Beek a rare start in Tuesday's 2-0 win against Villarreal in the Champions League.
The 24-year-old Dutchman started in an attacking midfield role, ahead of United's ever-present midfield pivot of Fred and Scott McTominay.
The position is usually occupied by Bruno Fernandes, but Carrick opted to give the former Ajax midfielder an opportunity to prove his worth.
But he had a fairly disappointing evening in the end and struggled to make any kind of impact, before being substituted for Fernandes after 66 minutes.
United drastically improved after Fernandes' introduction and carried far more ofa threat going forward, with both goals coming after van de Beek was subbed.
Speaking about the Dutchman in a press conference on Friday, Carrick said: "Donny's one of those players [that] because he's so flexible, he can play in different positions.
"He did the same for Ajax before he came here, he's done that for Holland as well, variety can be a real strength.
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"We've got ideas where we think Donny's most suited but he's so flexible and adaptable, with two or three positions.
"He even played as a false nine for Ajax in the Champions League when they ended up getting beaten by Tottenham.
"We've got ideas for him but being flexible is a strength and a credit to what he can bring to the team."
Fernandes' red hot form has since joining in January 2019 had rendered him virtually undroppable and has kept van de Beek out of the team.
Fernandes topped the Premier League leader board for the most big chances created last season with 20, as well as scoring 18 goals and bagging 14 assists.
And as such, van de Beek has only started four out of a possible 50 league matches, with Fernandes starting 47 games in the same period of time.
It is also quickly became clear that former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did not trust van de Beek to play in a more defensive role in his favoured midfield pivot.
And clubs like Everton and Newcastle have recently been linked with January moves for van de Beek, with the Toffees' director of football a huge admirer.
But the situation has changed, with the club close to appointing former RB Leipzig manager Ralf Rangnick as their new interim manager on a six-month contract.
And given Rangnick's preferred high intensity, high pressing style of play, van de Beek could be given the chance to resurrect his Man Utd career.
Van de Beek's high energy and high work-rate playing style is ideally suited to the German coach's philosophy, giving him an advantage over the likes of Paul Pogba.
And the club are reportedly trying to get the deal to appoint Rangnick over the line in time for him to take charge against Arsenal at Old Trafford next week.
Van de Beek now faces a tough call as to whether to stick it out at United and try to find favour under Rangnick, or to quit for guaranteed first-team football.
The Dutchman has also recently announced that he and his partner Estelle, the daughter of Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp, are expecting a baby girl.
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