Donny van de Beek: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer responds to advisor’s criticism over Manchester United playing time


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has promised that Donny van de Beek will receive plenty of opportunities to impress in a Manchester United shirt, despite the concerns of one of his advisors.

Van de Beek played the full 90 minutes as United progressed to the EFL Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday night and picked up an assist in a 3-0 win away at Brighton and Hove Albion.

It was only Van de Beek’s second start since joining United last month and the 23-year-old has been named as a substitute in each of United’s opening two Premier League fixtures.

Sjaak Swart, who works as part of the Players United agency which manages Van De Beek’s career, said that he could not personally accept a bit-part role as a player.  

“A substitute; I don’t like it at all,” Swart told Voetal Primeur. “I couldn’t do it, coming on with four minutes left. You’d have to leave me on the bench.”

But Solskjaer has insisted that Van de Beek will be regularly called upon this season, and not only from the substitutes’ bench.

“We know how many games we’re going to play and he’s going to be vital,” Solskjaer said.  

“He’s proved in every game he’s been a part of that he’s got high quality, he’s such a clever mover, he plays the game simply but effectively, with high quality. He’s knocking on the door.”

Solskjaer also hinted that Van de Beek could be deployed from the left wing in future, offering an alternative to either Marcus Rashford or Daniel James.

“He’s got very high footballing intelligence and tactically he’s gone through the Ajax system,” the United manager added. “Dutch football is tactical, he knows football, he’s got his head screwed on.

“He’s a different type of left-sided player compared to Dan James and Marcus Rashford but coming inside and finding good pockets, why not? He can play loads of different positions, which sometimes is a strength for a player.

“I remember myself sometimes, right-wing, left-wing, centre forward, No 10… Donny is one the coach will always look to have in a squad.”

Guido Albers, Van de Beek’s agent, played down Swart’s comments on Wednesday and insisted that his colleague – who made 461 appearances for Ajax as a player during the 1960s – was speaking about himself.

“There has been no problem at all since his move from Ajax, a deal that I negotiated on his behalf,” Albers said. “Sjaak Swart was speaking in a personal capacity, as a mentor and advisor to Donny, and someone who is an Ajax legend.

“Donny is very happy with every minute he can play in a Manchester United shirt.”

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