Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted Donny van de Beek isn’t entirely happy at the club. However, ahead of his side’s FA Cup showdown with Liverpool on Sunday, the Norwegian has insisted the 23-year-old has a big role to play. The Red Devils signed the Netherlands international from Ajax in the summer transfer window, paying £40million to secure his signature.
United thought they were onto a winner when they signed Van de Beek.
But the Dutchman has struggled for opportunities at Old Trafford, currently sitting behind Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in the pecking order.
United face Liverpool in the FA Cup on Sunday, looking to win the competition for the first time since 2016 when Louis van Gaal ruled the roost.
And, ahead of that game, Solskjaer has worryingly admitted Van de Beek isn’t happy – but backed the midfielder to show his class.
“I wouldn’t say that Donny is happy. Of course, he wants to play more, but he gets about his job in the right manner,” he said.
“He reminds me a lot about myself, when I first came in, that he understands my difficulties and challenges.
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Solskjaer was also full of praise for the rejuvenated Pogba.
The France international is finally back to his best, recently scoring winners in Premier League matches against Burnley and Fulham.
And the Norwegian said: “Paul’s job is to get himself fit and play football. My job is to be open and honest with him and give him my advice and I’ve never had a problem with him.
“I talk openly and directly with Paul. I’m not going to tell anyone what my advice to him is but I have always had a good relationship with him.
“He comes from a great family, he’s very understandable, he’s a very sensible boy and he knows what I’m talking about when we speak.
“Paul is honest with me as well. He’s up front and honest with me too. And what people don’t see with Paul is even when he isn’t playing he’s contributed loads in the background.
“Sometimes he’s even acted as the interpreter between me and different players – even when he isn’t playing.
“He always respects my decisions and we’ve always had a very good working relationship.”
Meanwhile, regarding Van de Beek, Ajax chief Edwin van der Sar recently claimed the midfielder would silence his critics and shine at United.
“I do talk to a lot of people at the club [Manchester United],” Van der Sar told Dutch broadcaster Ziggo Sport.
“Fantastic attitude, he does well in training.
“It [sealing a spot in the Manchester United midfield] is difficult.
“[Paul] Pogba is coming back, [Bruno] Fernandes is very important, [Nemanja] Matic and [Scott] McTominay, are also there.
“It’s no shame at all, it’s also a big club, isn’t it?
“Of course, it’s a large amount [Van de Beek’s transfer fee], but they are confident that he will get there.”