Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been told exactly what Donny van de Beek thinks about his lack of football at Old Trafford by Frank de Boer. The Netherlands manager knows the midfielder well while the ex-Ajax star made just his third start of the season against RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday night. The Dutchman performed well in a new formation for the Red Devils.
United fans have been mystified by Solskjaer’s reluctance to put Van de Beek in the starting line-up in the Premier League this season.
He is yet to start a league match but has made the line-up in both Carabao Cup matches while his latest appearance was probably his best display.
The Dutchman was named in the XI to face RB Leipzig in the Champions League, at the tip of a midfield diamond that also included Paul Pogba and Fred with Nemanja Matic behind them.
After signing from Ajax for £40m in the summer, much was made of the transfer.
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It had been questioned how Solskjaer would work a midfield of Van de Beek, Pogba and Bruno Fernandes.
But, despite the Portugal international missing midweek, the Red Devils coach gave a taste of life with the three stars after all appeared in the 5-0 demolition over Julian Nagelsmann’s men.
Van de Beek gave a good account of himself but it remains to be seen whether he will appear against Arsenal at the weekend.
Nevertheless, Netherlands boss De Boer has told Solskjaer that the 23-year-old is not downtrodden by his lack of game-time.
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“You don’t say I’m going to Manchester United for the money,” he explained.
“He’s a young player who wants to play every week and would have been asking [the manager] what kind of role he saw for him in the coming years.
“That’s what has been made clear to him, otherwise he wouldn’t have made the step.
“A lot of other interesting clubs [Barcelona and Real Madrid] were also available to him.”
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Solskjaer has come in for criticism at times this season, over Van de Beek and a lack of form.
But the Norweigan has turned the club’s fortunes around after hitting rock bottom against Tottenham in a 6-1 defeat at Old Trafford.
Two quality wins in the Champions League over Paris St-Germain and RB Leipzig could be followed up with a morale-boosting victory over Arsenal at the weekend.
This season is set to be one of the most testing for a number of coaches in the Premier League and player management is crucial with the games coming thick and fast.
“I think Solskjaer has a plan with him, but it will take time to adapt,” De Boer added.
“I remember when Neymar came to Barcelona from Santos and during the first few weeks he was on the bench. He was the superstar in Brazil at that moment.
“People have to understand him [Van de Beek], his teammates and the coach.
“He’s a guy that doesn’t get nervous, but of course I understand the current situation. United have spent a lot of money on the boy and he’s on the bench sometimes playing five minutes.
“I think overall Donny is a very intelligent boy and he will fight until the end. I think Manchester United will have a lot of enjoyment with him.”
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