'He deserves it': David De Gea praises Man United midfielder Donny van de Beek
David De Gea says Donny van de Beek's display was one of the few positive for Man United after the 4-1 loss at Watford
David De Gea praised Donny van de Beek for his performance in an otherwise disappointing display following Manchester United’s 4-1 loss to Watford on Saturday.
Van de Beek has struggled to hold down a regular spot in the first team at Old Trafford following his move to the club from Ajax last summer, but he was thrown on as a second-half substitute by Ole Gunnar Solskajer on Saturday at Vicarage Road.
The 24-year-old Dutch midfielder scored less than five minutes after coming on for the Red Devils but his goal was not enough to spark a comeback from Solskjaer’s side, who ended up being reduced to 10 men and losing 4-1.
Van de Beek is yet to start a game in the Premier League this season and has only made three appearances from the bench in the top flight for the Red Devils.
De Gea admitted that Van de Beek’s display was one of the only positives to take from Saturday’s game as Manchester United crashed to their fifth Premier League defeat of the season to leave them 12 points behind leaders Chelsea FC.
Asked about Van de Beek’s contribution from the bench, De Gea said: “Yeah, he’s been great, he showed character, passion. I’m very happy for him, he deserves it. He played very good.
“We are a team and as a team we were very, very poor. Yeah, it’s been a difficult month for us.
“It’s time to think, to see what we are doing wrong because it’s a nightmare after a nightmare after a nightmare, so it’s very tough.”
Meanwhile, Manchester United’s players will now have to dust themselves down as they prepare for their Champions League trip to Villarreal on Tuesday night.
De Gea admitted that the performance against the Hornets was nowhere near good enough and called on his team-mates to step their game up.
“The first half was embarrassing, like I said before,” said De Gea. “We need to start again from the first minute, not from the second half. Yeah, I don’t have much more to say.
“It’s hard to see, the fans shouting and be always with us; it’s very tough. Sorry again, at the moment we are in a tough position but we are going to fight to keep winning games and put the team again in the top.”
Manchester United’s dismal form has led to them losing four of their last five games in the Premier League to leave them outside of the top four.