'I have to start playing soon' - Man Utd midfielder prepared to seek January exit

  • Donny van de Beek has played just two minutes in the Premier League this season
  • Dutch midfielder has struggled to make the matchday squad under Erik ten Hag
  • Real Sociedad failed with a bid during the summer
Van de Beek has been out in the cold
Van de Beek has been out in the cold / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

Donny van de Beek has confessed he is prepared to leave Manchester United in the January transfer window if he remains out in the cold under Erik ten Hag.

The 26-year-old has featured just twice this season, seeing two minutes in the Premier League and 19 in the Carabao Cup, and has usually failed to make the matchday squad under his former Ajax boss.

United sought to part ways with Van de Beek during the summer but a proposed loan switch to Real Sociedad broke down after United refused to budge from their demand of a permanent purchase clause.

Having seen under 300 minutes last season due to injury, Van de Beek conceded that it is time for him to consider all options as he seeks to play regular football once again.

"I have to start playing matches very soon, if not at Manchester United, then at another club," he told De Telegraaf. "I think this is a healthy ambition.

"Look, I've always been an enthusiast. I'm absolutely crazy about football. I earn a good living at Manchester United, but money has never been my motivation. I want to enjoy my work every day.

"Last season I was sidelined for months due to my knee injury. You miss it terribly and appreciate even more that you have a wonderful profession. I am at a legendary club and I am still proud every day to wear the Manchester United shirt. But I'm bursting with energy now that I'm in great shape again and I'm training like crazy. Then the moment comes when you have to make a choice.

"I'm excited to play matches again. The manager now makes different choices. We have a great selection and I'm not the only one knocking on the door. We'll see what happens in January."

Donny van de Beek, Erik ten Hag
Van de Beek expected a bigger role under Ten Hag / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

Despite his struggles since his £40m switch from Ajax in 2020, Van de Beek had nothing but positive words to say about United.

"People often talk about this being a 'mega club'. That is true, but it is still difficult to see from the outside how big the club really is," he continued. "It is such an unprecedentedly large football stronghold. Expectations are therefore extremely high.

"I had hoped for more matches when I played well, so that you get into a flow. But you have to deal with more factors... Everyone wants to make United successful again, but that is not possible and it is difficult to put your finger on the sore spot here now.

"But despite the enormous size of the club and the volatile period that United is going through, it remains a very warm club for me. A family club too. Yes, really. There are so many beautiful and kind people working there, as a player you build a bond with them. These people have been there all their lives, from the equipment man to the lady behind the counter who I see every morning. There is so much passion for their club, which you also saw around the death of our legend Bobby Charlton."