Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has assured Donny van de Beek that he will be afforded his chances at Old Trafford. The Dutchman joined the Red Devils last summer, but has struggled to break into the first eleven. Van de Beek spent the summer improving his physique amid hopes that the 2021-22 campaign will be a new dawn for him.
However, little has changed so far. Van de Beek has only made the bench in the opening two games of the season. And even injury to Scott McTominay couldn’t help his cause against Southampton, where he watched Nemanja Vidic take the Scottish midfielder’s place in the starting eleven.
It now appears the Serbian, McTominay and Fred are all ahead of Van de Beek in the pecking order, which is a cause of concern for the player.
Dislodging Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes from the Manchester United XI is next to impossible, so Van de Beek could be forgiven for feeling a bit worried. However, Solskjaer has assured the midfielder that he is still a part of the Norwegian’s plans.
The United manager also explained his decision to play Matic against Southampton, saying:
“Of course, we started against Leeds with a team we picked, and a 5-1 win was, of course, justification for the team selection. We move to the next one; Scott (McTominay) couldn’t play and Nemanja (Matic) was our best player in pre-season, that’s why I chose Nemanja; he has been terrific."
Solskjaer then spoke at length about Van de Beek, acknowledging the player’s commitment and giving assurances that he would get his chances. The Norwegian also revealed that he had refrained from changing his team too much last season, owing to Manchester United’s good run of form, which was why the Dutchman found it difficult to break into the XI.
“Donny has worked hard; he has done really well; he will get his chances when the season gets going” said Solskjaer.
Competition for places could get tougher at Manchester United this season
Manchester United have little room for error as they head into the 2021-22 campaign.
The Red Devils are determined to win silverware this year, and competition for places could get tougher as the season progresses. Ideally, Van de Beek will get his chances, especially with McTominay recovering from surgery, but he'll have to grab them with both hands to earn his place in the XI.
With United planning to bring in a defensive midfielder this summer, things could get chaotic for the Dutchman. Van de Beek does have a battle on his hands, but it would be unwise to write him off just yet.