Date: 5th November 2022 at 2:35pm
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Manchester United travel to face Aston Villa on Sunday, in their penultimate Premier League match before the league is halted to make way for the World Cup. 

Erik ten Hag’s side have been in good form of late and are currently unbeaten in nine games across all competitions since losing 6-3 to rivals Manchester City last month.

A number of players have impressed during United’s recent run of good form, but one player that is still enduring a tough time at the club is Donny van de Beek.

The Dutchman hasn’t featured in the league since United’s 2-1 win over Liverpool in August, although he has played in each of The Red Devils’ last two Europa League matches.

The Netherlands international has endured a tough time ever since arriving at Old Trafford in 2020, struggling for playing time.

Injuries have furthered his problems, but the midfielder has largely been a fringe player for much of his time in Manchester.

Despite his situation, the player appears to still have the confidence of Ten Hag.

As reported by The Athletic, Ten Hag has refused to write off his fellow countryman, despite his severe lack of playing time.

Van de Beek has endured a tough time at Old Trafford

“Because he had quite a good pre-season, he was injured, now he is back, last week he came (against FC Sheriff) and I think he played very well, 50 minutes, and I think today was a decent performance,” he told reporters following United’s win over Real Sociedad.

“I know he can do better because I know (him) very well, but he delivered what I expected in terms of positioning and also pressing, in terms of transition. But I think he can do more and that’s his biggest quality – he can be more of a threat to an opponent’s goal.

“I don’t know (why he has struggled). I can only talk about my time here. In my time here, he is performing well in the game-time we gave him.”

Van de Beek has made just 37 Premier League appearances for United since arriving at the club, but Ten Hag knows the player well from his time with previous club Ajax.

The pair worked together and Van de Beek played a crucial role as Ajax reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019.

This term, the midfielder has suffered with an injury for several weeks which caused much of his absence, however he was an unused substitute during United’s win over West Ham last weekend and failed to impress against Sociedad in midweek.

The 25-year-old was sent out on loan to Everton back in January, but struggled with injuries during his time at Goodison Park too and made only seven appearances for the club.

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