MANCHESTER UNITED staff compared Donny van De Beek to Henrik Mkhitaryan during his early struggles at the club, according to reports.
The Dutchman, 24, has struggled for game time since his move to Old Trafford.
He has made just four Premier League starts since the beginning of last season, despite scoring on his debut against Crystal Palace.
And after struggling initially, staff at United were reminded of another expensive flop, Mkhitaryan, according to ESPN.
There were also fears he would struggle to adapt to the workload and intensity of the Premier League, which is why he was initially selected for Champions League matches only.
Mkhitaryan, like van de Beek, arrived for a significant fee of £26million in 2016 and quickly fell out of favour under Jose Mourinho.
He had to settle for substitute appearances in his first three games but when his big chance came in a start against Manchester City, he wasted it.
A minor injury followed and Mourinho soon lost faith in his marquee signing and Mkhitaryan had to wait until December for his next start.
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The Armenian would go on to make 15 Premier League starts in his debut season.
And while that is considerably more than van de Beek, it is easy to easy why the comparisons were made.
Despite his ability to play in a variety of midfield roles Ole Gunnar Solskjaer never trusted the £35m man.
Michael Carrick started van de Beek in his first game in charge against Villarreal but the midfielder was dropped once more for the visit to Chelsea.
His United future remains in doubt amid speculation linking him with a move to Newcastle and Barcelona.
But Ralf Rangnick is set to cast his eye over his new players and he could find a role for van de Beek in his team.
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