Erik ten Hag has warned Donny van de Beek that their history together will be no substitute for hard work.
The pair enjoyed great success at Ajax, particularly during the 2018/2019 season.
The Eredivisie winners clinched a domestic double as they embarked on an unlikely Champions League run to the semi-finals.
Van de Beek was integral to the side, with twelve goals and as many assists underlining his contributions.
Those contributions compelled Ten Hag to say “Donny has the capability. I have seen it.”
But he maintains that “It’s the same for every player,” and the midfielder still “has to prove himself.”
While he will do everything in his power to help his charge, the onus is on Van de Beek to “take responsibility” as he looks to revitalise his Manchester United career.
“Me as a manager and the coaching staff around him can do everything to set the right conditions so he can perform, but in the end the player has to do it by himself.”
The sentiment was echoed by Van de Beek, who realises that “the players have to do it” regarding performance.
As he looks to improve upon his paltry eight league starts over the last two years at United, the Dutch international will look to provide versatility and commitment.
“I can play as a 10, but also an eight. One of my strengths is to come in the box, make a goal or give an assist, but I like to be on the ball as well. I have to play where the team needs me.”
- All the build-up to the game
- Original features written by top writers
- Intelligent reporting of the latest transfer stories
- Latest news, opinions, quizzes and humour
- Click for a free preview or to get yours for just £1.25/$1.50
- Use discount code VILLA40PCOFFER to get 40% off a season pass