‘Why buy him?’: Rio Ferdinand baffled by Manchester United’s treatment of Donny Van de Beek

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<p>Van de Beek has been out unable to gain a permanent role in the United side</p> (Getty)

Van de Beek has been out unable to gain a permanent role in the United side

(Getty)

Rio Ferdinand has questioned the wisdom of buying Donny Van de Beek given Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reluctance to give the Dutch midfielder a consistent run of games.

After signing from Ajax for £40 million, Van de Beek has failed to justify the investment, scoring just once in all competitions.

But Ferdinand is giving the 23-year-old a reprieve for now, with just two starts in the Premier League and just 10 more starts coming in the cup competitions.

“I feel for him. I don’t care who you are - if you’re playing the odd two minutes here and there, three minutes here and there, you cannot perform. I don’t care what level of player you are,” Ferdinand said on VIBE with FIVE.

“I don’t think he’s been helped in terms of team selection and opportunities so I don’t think it’s fair to say he’s underperforming because he’s not been put in a position to perform yet on a consistent basis.

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“I watched him a hell of a lot in the Champions League in the year they had a good run to the semi-finals, Ajax. He was so impressive in the way he arrived in the box, the way he could play deeper as well and keep the ball, keep the game ticking.

“I think he would add value to this team, definitely. He’s someone who would create goals, he played a part in the goal (versus Leicester). When he gets in the box, he knows how to put the ball in the back of the net.

“But to get in the box he’s got to play in the position where Bruno Fernandes is playing and he’s not going to do that. Can he do it from No.8 position or No.6 when he’s holding? I think he can. He’s intelligent enough.

“It’s just obviously United want a stiffer central midfield area behind Bruno. I get that, given that’s got to be protecting the centre-backs and that’s not going to be one of Van de Beek’s strengths. But then it begs the question: why buy him then?”