United signed Van de Beek in a £40 million deal from Ajax in 2020 but the midfielder was unable to secure a regular role in the team and has now joined Eintracht Frankfurt on loan for the remainder of the season.
Ten Hag worked with Van de Beek during their time together at Ajax but feels injuries at Old Trafford meant that the 26-year-old was unable to replicate his success in the Eredivisie.
Asked why Van de Beek struggled at United, Ten Hag replied: ‘Yes, he has had many injuries and that is first of all.
‘I have now worked two years with him and before he worked under different managers here as well. He had another loan as well. From the moment I came here at Man United, he wasn’t the player I had at Ajax because he was injured and so many times he was unavailable.
‘Then he struggled for a long time with recovering from that injury. So I think that is probably the main reason for why he wasn’t playing.
‘Then we decided on a loan in the summer and nothing came, then his opportunities were so few because also we made appointments and agreements with players and there was conflict in those positions, the competition was high.’
When asked if potential new signings could be put off joining United when they look at Van de Beek’s struggles, Ten Hag said: ‘That is always on the players and what confidence you have. Your capabilities.
‘I can tell you one thing and that is that the Premier League is tough and at Man United it is tough to play here, because in every other team it is easier to play there because there is less pressure.
‘It is so high and you have to deal with that. But if you have confidence in yourself, than I think this is the best challenge.
‘Definitely it is the best club you want to be at and that depends from player to player, it is also about the character. The personality of the player.’
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