Eric ten Hag was forced to go to Villa Park without Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes, but he certainly hoped for more from Donny van de Beek.
The former Ajax midfielder was called up to replace the disqualified Portuguese playmaker, who reached the limit of yellow cards of the Premier League.
And Van de Beek was given one of the biggest chances of his Manchester United career when he started his beloved number ten role.
He failed to take advantage of the game, which directly contributed to Aston Villa’s victory over the Red Devils with a score of 3:1.
Despite all the talk about Van de Beek not playing, he was completely invisible in Birmingham.
The playmaker should be available to his teammates, but the fact that the Dutchman made only eighteen touches in more than an hour shows how easily Villa gained momentum.
Van de Beek cannot hope to play regularly for United when he finishes matches with just 13 successful assists, especially when he plays so safely.
He didn’t try to drive the ball and made just one shot, which was easily blocked.
In fact, the invisible man, when United had the ball, he behaved no better in defense.
Van de Beek did not win any rebounds, did not make interceptions and was ineffective in any attempts to put pressure on the opponent.
He hadn’t even participated in a single ground duel in his entire appearance, much less succeeded in any.
It is quite common, though undesirable, for a team to have a passenger at one stage of the game if that player succeeds at another.
Unfortunately for Manchester United, Donny van de Beek seems to be a minor player at all stages of the game.