Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has responded to questions about Donny van de Beek’s lack of game time so far this season.
The Dutchman has not started a Premier League game since his £35 million move this summer, causing a number of pundits and journalists to question the purchase.
But Speaking at today’s press conference ahead of tomorrow evening’s Champions League Group H tie with RB Leipzig, Solskjaer said:
‘When players come into a new league, a new team it’s always going to be a time that they adapt.
‘Donny, when he’s played, he’s played really well and I also think it says everything about our depth of quality in the squad that we don’t have to use him every single game.
‘Donny is going to play a big, big part this year.
‘At the moment I’ve realised the topic is going to be Donny van de Beek and it’s nice for some ex-players or commentators to have a little go.
‘You have to know you don’t have to start the first three games to be a very important player in the squad.
‘I’d be disappointed if some of my teammates said I wasn’t important at Man United but I didn’t start many games, so Donny’s going to be very, very important for us.’
Solskjaer also reported that United have no new injury problems other than ‘couple of doubts and knocks as you’d expect’, with just Eric Bailly and Jesse Lingard confirmed as unavailable. Anthony Martial is also in the squad as his suspension doesn’t apply to UEFA matches.
Leipzig go into the game with a number of injury problems. They are set to be without Lukas Klostermann, Tyler Adams and Konrad Laimer, all with knee problems, and Amadou Haidara who is in isolation following a positive COVID-19 test.
Head coach Julian Nagelsmann has transformed the Leipzig side into one of the top teams in the Bundesliga and they exceeded expectations to reach the semi-finals of last season’s Champions League.
They are now without last season’s leading scorer Timo Werner, who is now with Chelsea, but still count on Dayot Upamecano, one of the best young centre-backs in European football. Another familiar face is former Crystal Palace forward Alexander Sorloth, who joined Red Bull from Trabzonspor in the summer.
Tomorrow’s match will be the first time the two sides have faced each other.
This summer’s transfer window has been one of the strangest in living memory. So cast your mind back to less stressful days and test your knowledge of past United arrivals and departures in our quiz below.