Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has sent an indirect warning to Donny van de Beek following the Dutchman’s furious reaction to not playing against Villarreal earlier this week. Van de Beek has struggled to break into the United team ever since joining from Ajax last summer.
The midfielder has tended to be used more in the cup competitions than in the league, but he was named on the bench for the Champions League match against Villarreal on Wednesday.
With the game level at 1-1, Solskjaer opted to bring on Fred and Jesse Lingard late on, snubbing Van de Beek in the process.
The 24-year-old was seen reacting angrily to the decision, and had to be consoled by teammates as he threw his gum to the floor and slumped in his seat.
Speaking ahead of his side’s match against Everton this weekend, however, Solskjaer seemed to have little sympathy for the player when he was asked about the tantrum.
“I’ve got a squad of internationals and if we’re going to be successful we need positive energy, no sulkers,” he said.
“Donny has never affected his team-mates negatively. As soon as I see players affecting the team negatively, then that’s a different scenario and I’ll probably be firmer.”
Solskjaer also drew on his own experience of being a substitute at United during his playing days, and urged Van de Beek to be patient and wait for his opportunity to shine.
“I’ve been a sub more than anyone in this club, I must have the record for appearances as a sub, and you have to be ready all the time,” he continued.
“I’ve been unhappy a few times and I understand the frustration, but Donny knows he’s not frozen out.
“I’ve got plenty of players who don’t play every week, so I don’t have any issues with Donny at all.
“He knows what he needs to work on, what we want him to work on and he’s never let his mood affect his team-mates negatively.”
It remains to be seen if Van de Beek plays a role against the Toffees on Saturday.
But Solskjaer is likely to rotate his team given the quick turnaround between their fixture in Europe and this one in the Premier League.
United currently sit in fourth position in the table following their shock 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa last weekend.
But they are just one point off leaders Liverpool, and would dearly love a positive result to take into the forthcoming international break.