AJAX boss Erik ten Hag has called Donny van de Beek’s lack of progress at Manchester United a ‘mortal sin’ – despite being linked with the Red Devils job.
The Dutchman helped develop his fellow countryman at the Amsterdam Arena into one of Europe’s most promising midfield talents.
They enjoyed an incredible run to the 2019 Champions League semi-finals as well as the Eredivisie title in the same year.
Van de Beek’s performances convinced United to splash out £39m to Ajax to secure his services in 2020 but things have failed to go to plan for the 24-year-old at Old Trafford.
He has struggled for regular starts at United with a lack of match action making it difficult for the star to progress – with his latest outing as a late sub in today’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Ten Hag has now revealed he is still in touch with his ex-ace to offer support but admitted he finds it ‘hard’ to understand how he has not been involved more.
He told de Volkskrant: “Donny, I find that hard. [It’s a] mortal sin.
“If you haven’t had a chance yet, then development will also stall. Every now and then you encourage them.”
Ten Hag could still be Van de Beek’s saviour at United as he remains one of the favourites to be the next permanent manager of the club after interim Ralf Rangnick’s stint ends in the summer.
And he has already fuelled speculation he could be heading to Manchester by admitting that he feels ready for a bigger challenge.
He said: “I think I’m ready for it [the next step]. I would be happy to take up that challenge.
“But I’m not chasing it. If it turns out that that step will never come, I will not say that my coaching career has failed.
“But I think I have sufficient competencies to take on that challenge.”
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