Donny van de Beek was warned by Robin van Persie about the problems he would have nailing down a first-team place at Manchester United.
It was reported this week that Van de Beek would seek clarity over his future at Old Trafford, having made just two Premier League starts since his summer move from Ajax.
The 23-year-old will hope to be involved when United face AC Milan in the Europa League on Thursday night – although with the tie finely balanced at 1-1, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will likely pick his strongest side.
Van de Beek doesn’t figure prominently in that picture at the moment, with a recent injury having kept him out of the last four games – further denting his hopes of winning a place in the Red Devils’ midfield.
The Dutch international was much coveted after starring for Ajax during their run to the Champions League semi-finals during the 2018/19 season.
But after his £40million move to United last summer, he was warned by his compatriot Van Persie that the Premier League was “a different world” – and so it has proved.
“Donny van de Beek is 23 years old and that is a nice age to make a transfer to the Premier League,” Van Persie told Dutch publication De Telegraaf back in August.
“I was a bit younger when I went to Arsenal, and in the locker room, I was considered a player for the future.
“Winning the UEFA Cup with Feyenoord meant nothing. The Premier League is a completely different world.”
Van Persie had already had eight seasons with Arsenal in the Premier League when he joined United in 2012.
In his first season at Old Trafford, he won a second successive Golden Boot award he helped fire Sir Alex Ferguson’s side to their 20th Premier League title.
And he warned Van de Beek last summer that he was joining “a beast of a club” where he would face intense competition.
“Donny will be brought in as a major purchase from Manchester United, but he will discover that those other 22 players have also been brought in as a ‘major purchase’,” said Van Persie. “One had an even bigger transfer than the other.
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“It means that he has to stand there right away and he has to mentally adjust to that. Because Manchester United is in every way a beast of a club.”
Ahead of Thursday’s clash with AC Milan, Solskjaer said Van de Beek had trained and was focused on being available “for the latter stages of the season”.