Fri. Aug 12th, 2022

Donny van de Beek is not ‘frozen’ at Manchester United, but Ole Gunnar Solskjær wants him to keep showing signs of improvement if he is ever to become a first-team fixture.

The Dutchman was promised plenty of playing time this season as he sat down to discuss his future with the Norwegian coach in the summer window, but remains on the periphery amid United’s indifferent start to the campaign.

Since joining United from Ajax for £ 40m in September 2020, Van de Beek has only started four times in the Premier League and has been an unused substitute on 25 occasions.

The 24-year-old was an unused replacement again in this weekend’s draw with Everton a few days after a fit of rage that saw him throw his training leg and throw the gum when it became clear he would not be involved in the final phase of midweek in the Champions League victory of Villarreal.

Solskjaer has started with seven different combinations in midfield so far this season, but Van de Beek has only appeared in one of United’s six league games – as a substitute against Newcastle – and was ready to leave the club on loan this summer.

Cristiano Ronaldo has completed his return to Manchester United.

Manchester United enjoyed a sensational transfer window that secured the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, but Ole Gunnar Solskjær is now under pressure to deliver silverware after an uneven start to the season. United face some big matches after the international break.

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A proposed deadline for moving to Everton was vetoed by Solskjær, and it is understood that he is still in the manager’s mindset despite his recent problems.

What has Solskjær said about the question?

“He knows he is not frozen out,” Solskjær emphasized last week. “This obsession with … It’s Man United, and when a headline player does not play for Man United, it will always make headlines.

“But then again I have lots who don’t play every week so I have no problems at all with Donny, he knows what to work with, what we want him to work with and he is diligent in his work.

“And he has never let his mood affect his teammates negatively, because you have to have that fire in your stomach if you have to cope with it.

“I learned when I was a child that I should never swallow chewing gum, and he probably followed the gaffer’s lead and threw it out,” laughed Solskjær. “Absolutely no worries about it. What are you going to do? Give it to someone else? No, of course not.”

What did Van de Beek’s agent say?

“Cristiano arrived on Friday, which we knew was bad news for us,” agent Guido Albers told Ziggo Sport a month ago.

“Pogba plays on the left, and with Cristiano’s arrival it means another extra player in midfield, with Pogba moving away from the left.

“We had talks with Solskjær and the board. We took the initiative to find a club, and our search ended in Everton. We started talks with Marcel Brands and Farhad Moshiri.

Donny van der Beek appeared in Manchester United’s 4-0 win in the pre-season against Everton, but was an unused substitute against since Saturday (Photo by Jan Kruger / Getty Images)

“Monday evening [before deadline day] we received a call from Solskjær and the club telling us that a transfer was out of the question and that he should sign up for training the next morning.

“The perspective is now that we stated that Donny is not a Carabao Cup player or FA Cup player, or only plays in European matches. Donny went to England to play in the Premier League.

“The way the conversation went this time [with Solskjær] compared to last summer … things are much clearer now. I fully expect Donny to get his chance now.

“Donny worked extremely hard in the summer. He only had seven days off. The rest of the summer he trained to be top fit. He’s all ready.”

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