Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has sent Donny van de Beek a brutal warning as he urged the player to improve his performances.

Many thought Van de Beek would given a new lease of life under Ten Hag given they worked together at Ajax but the midfielder has continued to struggle.

For the first time in his United career he started three consecutive games for the Red Devils, having been given the nod against Real Sociedad and then back-to-back fixtures against Aston Villa.

In the first half of the 4-2 win over Villa on Thursday, Van de Beek had just 11 touches – the fewest of any United player – and lost possession on four times.

He was substituted in the 62nd minute for Anthony Elanga after failing to impose himself on the match.

After the game, Ten Hag was asked if Van de Beek could leave on loan or permanently in the January transfer window and he summarised the situation very clearly.

“I don’t think the loan makes sense,” he told the media.

“It’s either he fights and proves himself in this environment or he goes, but for me, there is still a way for him.

“It it’s not going to be easy for him because the competition there is really strong.”

Image: AlamyUnited paid £35 million to secure his services in 2020, with Van de Beek signing a five-year contract.

His time at Old Trafford would appear to be coming to an end and there was further disappointment for Van de Beek lately as he was left out of Louis van Gaal’s 26-man Netherlands squad for the World Cup.

Image: AlamyHe suffered the same treatment at Euro 2020 and has not played for his country since March 2021.