Van de Beek’s advisor told to “shut his mouth” as Mourinho issue emerges

Donny van de Beek was Manchester United’s marquee signing this summer window.

The Dutchman arrived from Ajax for £35million and was predicted to slot into the centre of the Red Devils midfield alongside Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes.

But for one reason or another Van de Beek is out in the cold.

And it seems an advisor for the Holland international, who is yet to start a Premier League match, may have played a small part in Van de Beek’s struggles at Old Trafford.

Very early on in the season, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was still getting a look at his team and making adjustments, he was hit with some advice.

Sjaak Swart, who represents Van de Beek, came out in the press questioning the Norwegian’s decision not to throw the Dutchman in the deep end.

Donny van de Beek was Manchester United’s marquee signing this summer window

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He told Voetal Primeur: “A substitute; I don’t like it at all.

“I couldn’t do it, coming on with four minutes left. You’d have to leave me on the bench. But, I have to say, he still did three good things.

“And the penalty, where the winning goal came from, came from him. He did well in those couple of minutes. But normally they should have lost 7-1. Brighton hit the post and the bar five times.

“They [Brighton] have a nice team, but that shouldn’t happen to Manchester United.”

Van de Beek’s agent Guido Albers was quick to dispel the notion of a problem, and made clear his client is happy at Old Trafford.

He told Sky Sports: “Donny is very happy at Manchester United and has a great relationship with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the club’s staff and his new team-mates.

The Dutchman arrived from Ajax for £35million

“There has been no problem at all since his move from Ajax, a deal that I negotiated on his behalf. Sjaak Swart was speaking in a personal capacity, as a mentor and advisor to Donny, and someone who is an Ajax legend.

“Donny is very happy with every minute he can play in a Manchester United shirt.”

But it seems the damage may have already been done, in some sense.

Manchester United were never going to comment on what they thought about Swart’s sudden and somewhat bizarre outburst.

But a man very close to the club did.

Patrice Evra isn’t one to mince his words, and despite his sometimes strong opinion, he very much loves the Old Trafford club.

The Dutchman, who is yet to make a Premier League start since his arrival, will be put on a strength programme to bulk him up
The Dutchman is yet to start a Premier League match

In response to Swart’s comments, Evra said: “I think the agent [advisor] of Van de Beek should shut his mouth.

“Talking about Van de Beek, I think every United fan [is] disappointed because now it’s three games, he don’t even start one game.

“I don’t think he’s in competition with Paul Pogba, but maybe some fans disagree with me.

“But Van de Beek, I don’t understand why he’s not starting yet – it’s the third game. It shows you, we don’t need him.

“When you buy a player normally, he’s a player you need to win the league. Is Van de Beek gonna win the league for us? No.

“Actually, that’s the truth. He doesn’t start. I don’t know if it’s [because of] injury.

Van De Beek is struggling to make an impression at Old Trafford

“You sign Van de Beek – the only signing of Manchester United – and it’s three games and he didn’t start a game. So when you lose a game, you already have an excuse.”

While it is unfair to speculate that Swart’s comments have made winning a place in United’s first team harder for Van de Beek, there are certainly similarities between this situation and one faced by Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.

Back in 2018, Mourinho had a public falling-out with Paul Pogba – and the Frenchman’s agent was very much involved in the dispute.

According to the MEN, Mourinho eventually believed Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola was to blame for the breakdown in relationship between him and the £89million signing.

Put simply, Mourinho felt undermined and he wasn’t going to be dictated to by an agent.

And he made sure Raiola knew this when he decided Pogba would no longer be the club’s second captain.

Van de Beek watched Man United draw with Chelsea from the bench

“The only truth is that I made the decision of Paul not to be the second captain anymore,” Mourinho said in 2018. “But no fall-out. No problems at all.

“The same person that decides Paul is not second captain anymore was exactly the same person that decides that Paul was the second captain, myself.

“I am the manager, I can make these decisions, no fall-out at all, no problems at all, just one decision that I don’t have to explain.”

As aforementioned, there is no evidence to suggest lightning has struck twice, but Swart’s comments certainly haven’t encouraged Solskjaer to play the Dutchman more often.

Van de Beek was left out again as Manchester United drew with Chelsea this weekend.

Commenting on the sight of the £35m midfielder in the Old Trafford stands, Evra said: “We’re talking about Van de Beek – why did we buy him?

Paul Pogba's latest error for Man United shows former boss Jose Mourinho was right about him two years ago
Jose Mourinho had problems with Paul Pogba at Man United

“I have nothing against the kid, but why did we buy Van de Beek?

“He’s watching the game from the stands every game because we don’t need him. That’s the truth, but people will not say it loud.”

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink added: “You’re spot on. He is a player – and I know him very well from Ajax – he is a player that has to play in the position of Fernandes or Pogba.

“So he’s an attacking midfielder who’s strength is getting in the box and getting on the end of things and scoring goals, or creating, like Fernandes.

“And if he has to compete with Fernandes, he’s not going to play, is he?”

Mourinho didn’t see eye to eye with Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola

Evra replied: “He can’t. But that’s what I mean, mistakes have been done, so we won’t talk about that. I’d rather talk about the players that are playing.”

Solskjaer has been relatively tight-lipped on Van de Beek, but doesn’t seem to have a problem with the midfielder, and certainly doesn’t appear to be punishing him.

Simply, he’s allowing Van de Beek time to adapt to this new surroundings, and apparently working out where he best fits into his system.

Solskjaer recently said of Van de Beek: “He’s got very high footballing intelligence and tactically he’s gone through the Ajax system. Dutch football is tactical, he knows football, he’s got his head screwed on.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still working out the Dutchman’s best position

“He’s a different type of left-sided player compared to Dan James and Marcus Rashford but coming inside and finding good pockets why not, he can play loads of different positions, which sometimes is a strength for a player.

“I remember myself sometimes, right-wing, left-wing centre forward, No. 10, Donny is one the coach will always look to have in a squad.”

What do you make of the Donny van de Beek situation? Have your say here.

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