Donny van de Beek started all three matches for Manchester United to get to the Carabao Cup semi-final.
Upon reaching the last four, Van de Beek was left on the bench. After not starting any league games since early December, perhaps that wasn’t surprising. But his treatment left a lot to be desired.
United played poorly and the midfield were second best. After conceding in the 50th minute, there was plenty of time to change the result. Solskjaer hesitated for too long.
He made one change, to bring on Mason Greenwood in the 75th minute, and eight minutes later United were 2-0 down.
And then Solskjaer turned to Van de Beek. In the 87th minute, with the game lost.
What was Van de Beek supposed to do at this point?
This may have felt a tad humiliating for the Dutchman, throwing him to the wolves with the game already gone.
He was able to manage just four touches before the final whistle blew.
Van de Beek has been given just two Premier League starts all season, and questions are being asked.
Solskjaer said before the game via the club website that Van de Beek will get chances this season and next. He will likely start against Watford at the weekend amid a rotated line up.
This was less about Solskjaer’s treatment of Van de Beek, and more a question about the manager’s in-game tactics.
He had five substitutes available and used just two, both of them when it was too late. It felt reminiscent of the PSG defeat in the Champions League.
This was not only a very questionable decision from Solskjaer, it was an unpopular one. Van de Beek is a player United fans are excited to see and do not see enough of. Here is a look at the reaction to his late substitution…
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