Donny van de Beek made his third start for Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday night as the Red Devils hammered Istanbul Basaksehir 4-1 at Old Trafford.
The result leaves United needing a point against either Paris Saint-Germain or RB Leipzig to confirm their progress to the knockout stage of this season’s competition.
Van de Beek played a central midfield role, alongside Fred who was more defensive, and behind Bruno Fernandes, who scored the opening two goals.
The Dutch international was a strong contender for man of the match, but for Fernandes’ brace. Van de Beek was excellent in possession to start attacks for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Following Fernandes’ substitution just before the hour, the summer signing from Ajax really stood out, creating a number of counter attacks, including the final one which Daniel James converted to make the score 4-1.
Donny van de Beek also started the 1-2 loss in Turkey three weeks ago, and the 5-0 drubbing of RB Leipzig last month. He was excellent in the latter too.
But the question that means on every Manchester United fan’s lips: why hasn’t Donny van de Beek started in the Premier League yet?
It really does remain a mystery and a question that is likely to be posed to the boss in his pre-match press conference this week, prior to facing Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday.
So far, the 23-year-old has made six substitute appearances in the Premier League, totalling 88 minutes. Simply not enough time to make an impact.
Given that the likes of Nemanja Matic, Fred, Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba have been given a number of chances here this season, van de Beek deserved an opportunity long before now.
Personally, I expect the question to be answered at St Mary’s this Sunday with Donny van de Beek’s name finally announced in the starting lineup.