Donny van de Beek has been told he may have to leave Manchester United if he wants to be the “special player” and avoid being the “side dish” by Jermaine Jenas.
The Dutchman has struggled for minutes since his summer move from Ajax.
Van de Beek’s arrival raised eyebrows with some given his apparent want to play in the same position as club talisman Bruno Fernandes.
As a result he has largely been used as an impact substitute with starts coming at a premium.
Van de Beek played from the start in United’s FA Cup win on Tuesday night, but Jenas feels as if he is playing too “safe” and may have to seek pastures new.
He said: “Its a tough one, because it was a strange move in the first place for Donny to go there.
“It is very similar to the issue Tottenham have with finding a replacement for Harry Kane, which is why they’ve never found anyone of close quality.
“People know they’re not going to play. The only way you get the best out of any player is you fill them with confidence – especially players like him – by playing them every week, making them feel part of the project and showing that they’re not just the side dish.
“When he was at Ajax I saw a player that was a problem for teams, arriving late in the box, scoring goals. At the minute he just plays safe and because of the position he plays he’s always being compared to another player – they’re best player.
“We can take this back as far as you want – could you imagine if there was a foil to Cantona or Beckham – it just doesn’t happen. Its kind of one position, its not as if he’s part of the two in midfield where they can mix it up.
“Unfortunately the only way I see him getting back to a confident state and playing again is to move. He needs to be the special player.”
Jenas was speaking as he seeks to inspire Brits to mix-up their workouts with the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro.
The former Tottenham star highlighted the mental health benefits that came with trying various ways of exercising.
He said: “The mental health aspect was one of the biggest things for me which is why the workouts are so important. Obviously what I love what I love about the Huawei Watch GT2 Pro was the various workouts.
“I always found that I’d wake up and have said I’ll go on a run, but I’ll wake up and not feel like doing a run.
“From a scientific point of view Huawei got the genuine data to prove that varying your workouts improves your desire to exercise but also your mental health because of the amount of workouts you can get in within a week. If you do the same thing it just gets boring.”
Jermaine has teamed up with Huawei to create a series of workout videos inspired by the HUAWEI Watch GT 2 Pro and its 100+ fitness modes, to help the nation stay motivated