Missing: one Manchester United player’s career, please return if found. This announcement could relate to several members of the Old Trafford squad at the moment.
Anthony Martial? The Frenchman has been off the radar for a while but at least it looks as though he’ll get a fresh start elsewhere across the continent.
Paul Pogba? Like his compatriot, the midfielder no longer seems part of the Manchester United master plan, yet he still possesses the talent to be a top man for another team.
Phil Jones? The defender seemed to be on his bike until a fortnight ago, when he played his first competitive match for almost two years. He was arguably United’s best performer against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
There’s only one man this cry for help really relates to.
Donny van de Beek’s once bright outlook on footballing life has been doused by a thousand flames following his move to England in 2020.
The 24-year-old, once the heartbeat of a pulsating Ajax side, now looks like a skeleton removed from its body.
His blood was sucked dry by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he was repeatedly left on the bench to wither.
Rangnick’s introduction offered Van de Beek a sliver of hope. Could redemption finally be on the cards?
At the moment, the answer remains a resolute no.
He has started just once for the new coach, a dead-rubber Champions League tie against Young Boys, with the rest of his appearances amounting to a mere 24 minutes.
Yet the interim manager has insisted the Netherlands international still has a role to play in the side.
“I am glad to have (Van de Beek) in the squad. He is always performing at a high level in training,” said Rangnick in today’s press conference.
“I had a conversation two weeks ago and advised him to stay (at United) until the end of the season.
“He wants to play in the World Cup and Louis van Gaal told him he needs to regularly play. I understand it, but we have a lot of competition in our squad.”
Does anyone else see the irony in this?
If Van de Beek wants to appear at the competition in Qatar, the last place he needs to be to get minutes is United.
Clubs have offered to give the midfielder an escape route away from the depths of his Red Devils despair, but these offers have constantly been rejected.
The reasons why remain a mystery. What’s for certain is that for Van de Beek to be picked by Van Gaal, he needs to ignore Rangnick’s advice and hotfoot out of Manchester immediately.