Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp admits he isn’t shocked by Donny Van de Beek’s lack of game-time at Manchester United after suggesting he wasn’t Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s top target.
Van de Beek was United’s most expensive signing of the summer, arriving from Ajax in a deal reportedly worth up to £40m.
However, it has been a tricky first few weeks at Old Trafford for the Dutchman. He may have scored on his debut, but Van de Beek has played a bit-part role overall.
Several pundits have suggested that the 23-year-old made the wrong move by joining United this summer, given his lack of gametime.
Finding it hard to dislodge fellow attack-minded midfielders Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba from the starting lineup, Van de Beek has had to come on from the bench for all four of his Premier League appearances so far.
He did return to the starting lineup for United’s 5-0 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League.
It has given him renewed confidence ahead of their clash with Arsenal, with the player coming clean on his struggles so far.
However, Redknapp claims Solskjaer had wanted Jack Grealish ahead of him and suggests he only turned to the Dutchman once the Villa star became unobtainable.
The pundit also reckons Van de Beek also hasn’t done enough in training to warrant a more regular place.
“He [Van de Beek] is a talent, we’ve seen that when he’s played for Ajax and Holland,” Redknapp told Sky Sports’ Pitch to Post podcast.
“But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sees him day in, day out. If a player is good enough, he plays.
“Solskjaer obviously doesn’t think he’s right for the team yet. Perhaps he isn’t fit enough or isn’t showing enough in training.
“You saw when Fabinho first came to Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp didn’t play him. But it wasn’t a big deal or a big focus at the time because they were doing so well. They had other players.
“Liverpool had that luxury but Manchester United don’t. If he was at Liverpool, it wouldn’t be a big deal but because it’s United and they’re struggling, everyone wants to see him.
“But the problem is, where do you play him? It’s a very difficult one for Solskjaer and he probably would rather have not had him, if he’s totally honest. He would rather have that £40m on another centre back and bolster the area where they definitely do have problems.”
De Boer backs Van de Beek to come good
Holland manager Frank de Boer, however, is not worried by Van de Beek‘s lack of game time.
He also reckons he will prove his worth and get his chance in time.
“You don’t say I’m going to Manchester United for the money,” he explained.
“He’s a young player who wants to play every week and would have been asking [the manager] what kind of role he saw for him in the coming years.
“That’s what has been made clear to him, otherwise he wouldn’t have made the step.
“A lot of other interesting clubs [Barcelona and Real Madrid] were also available to him.”
He then added: “I think Solskjaer has a plan with him, but it will take time to adapt.
“I remember when Neymar came to Barcelona from Santos and during the first few weeks he was on the bench. He was the superstar in Brazil at that moment.
“People have to understand him [Van de Beek], his teammates and the coach.
“He’s a guy that doesn’t get nervous, but of course I understand the current situation. United have spent a lot of money on the boy and he’s on the bench sometimes playing five minutes.
“I think overall Donny is a very intelligent boy and he will fight until the end. I think Manchester United will have a lot of enjoyment with him.”
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