Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has promised that £40million signing Donny van de Beek is an important member of his squad after he caught the eye in their 3-0 win over Brighton in the Carabao Cup.
The Dutchman started just his second game in all competitions against the Seagulls but he has struggled to find his way into the line-up in the Premier League since joining from Ajax last month.
He scored on his club debut against Crystal Palace in the season opener as he came off the bench during the 3-1 defeat, and was sent on in stoppage time in their 3-2 win over Brighton on Saturday.
His lack of game time prompted angry comments from his agent, who said he ‘didn’t like it at all’, but now Solskjaer has lavished praise on the 23-year-old after his display – which saw him start as an attacking midfielder before moving to left wing – and believes he is ‘vital’ to the team.
‘He’s got very high footballing intelligence and tactically he’s gone through the Ajax system. 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.’
Solskjaer admitted he was pleased with Van de Beek’s versatility and said he would get more opportunities to shine in the near future.
‘I remember myself sometimes, right-wing, left-wing, centre forward, No 10,’ he added. ‘Donny is one the coach will always look to have in a squad.’
‘We know how many games we’re going to play and he’s going to be vital.
‘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.’
In United’s second game against Brighton in the space of a few days, the Red Devils secured back-to-back victories after a dramatic 3-2 win on Saturday assisted by VAR after the final whistle.
On Wednesday it was more comfortable for Solskjaer’s men as Scott McTominay opened the scoring before Juan Mata and Paul Pogba wrapped up a routine win.
The team face a huge game against Tottenham at Old Trafford this Sunday which should set the tone for the early race for the Champions League spots.