Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has further risked the wrath of Donny van de Beek and his agent by substituting the midfielder during half-time of Manchester United’s shock 2-1 defeat versus Young Boys. The Dutchman was given a rare chance to impress after being selected in the starting XI for the Champions League group stage clash.
But Solskjaer was forced to change things up after Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off on 35 minutes, with Jadon Sancho the first player to make way for Diogo Dalot.
During the interval Van de Beek was also replaced for Raphael Varane – and it is a decision which may have left him furious given Solskjaer’s recent comments about playing time.
Van de Beek’s struggles in his first campaign at Old Trafford last season are no secret, and there was talk of him moving on this summer.
In the end he stayed, however, and Solskjaer recently promised he would get game-time in the near future.
Speaking last month to United’s official website, Solskjaer said: “When we come back from the international break, there will be games for everyone. The balance has to be there between consistency and rotation.
“Donny knows that when he keeps on performing and training how he does for us, he’ll be fit and ready when he plays.”
Despite this promise, Van de Beek was again on the bench for the Premier League win against Newcastle at the weekend, only making an appearance for the last five minutes with the game well won.
And the fact that Van de Beek was the man to make way during the break versus Young Boys may go some way to showing that Solskjaer still does not have full faith in the former Ajax star.
Considering the strong words of his agent Guido Albers of late, Solskjaer may well receive a less-than-happy phone call within too long.
Speaking about his client’s difficult time in Manchester, Albers said: “Everyone within the club knows that Donny cannot have another season like last year.
“In preparation, clarity would be provided about his role. The fans had already embraced him before, but the most important thing is that the trainer has now provided clarity in the English press.
“We are happy with that. And I assume that Donny will play a lot in one of the positions in midfield in the coming period.”
That assumption has so far proved to be a false one, and it is difficult to see when Van de Beek’s next opportunity for minutes will arrive.
He is unlikely to start the Premier League clash against West Ham United this weekend.
However, he could be given the nod when the Red Devils face the Hammers again in the Carabao Cup the following Wednesday.
If he doesn’t impress then, one has to question when, if ever, Van de Beek will ever show his true quality in England.