Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reluctance to start Donny van de Beek in the Premier League this season has caused frustration among United supporters.
It is becoming a hot topic in Holland too, with over the top comments from the likes of Marco van Basten quoted by Goal saying Van de Beek will regret moving to United.
Those type of comments help nobody, and United manager Solskjaer was quizzed on the midfielder at his press conference ahead of United’s Champions League game with RB Leipzig.
Solskjaer was defensive over his usage of Van de Beek, pointing to the recent benching of Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba for the last three consecutive games as evidence of the options at his disposal.
But comments made about Van de Beek’s need to adapt, are far more revealing about the new signing’s slow start.
Solskjaer told the club website: “Donny is adapting and is getting more and more used to us as a team and the way we want to play, and of course the Premier League is a different scenario to the Eredivisie and we’ll see a lot of him, don’t worry about that.”
The Sun reported earlier in the month that United have put Van de Beek on a specialist training programme to bulk up and increase his physicality.
As Solskjaer says, Van de Beek will get his chance, and this may even come tonight against RB Leipzig.
While Van de Beek did not come off the bench against Chelsea, a shift in formation to a diamond 4-4-2 in the second half could be helpful to him.
If United have four midfield spots as opposed to three, it becomes easier for the Dutchman to break into the side.
Part of what has fuelled the frustration with Van de Beek, is that he has not looked off the pace when he has got his chance, he has seemed sharp and more than ready to compete.
United won the two Carabao Cup games he started, and he has one goal and one assist, while he also made an impact when he came off the bench against Brighton in the league.
As Solskjaer says confidently, Van de Beek will get his chances, but there probably needs to be a bit more balance on his own part.
The need for off-pitch adaptation is surely over, and it’s time for the international midfielder to learn on the job.
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