After a disastrous transfer window, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer already faces mounting pressure to deliver results this season…
According to The Independent, Donny van de Beek’s advisor has hit back at the Red Devils less than two months after the midfielder moved to Old Trafford.
And Solskjaer has borne the brunt of the criticism for not giving him enough game time.
Van de Beek has hit the ground running, having scored just 13 minutes into his debut after appearing as a second-half substitute in the 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace.
However, Solskjaer has played his preferred midfield trio of Bruno Fernandes, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba instead, much to his chagrin.
Despite the fact the Dutchman didn’t start during the embarrassing defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, he still took to social media to apologise to supporters for the shocking result.
Whilst there was no way of disguising the nature of United’s defensive capitulation, the Red Devils still need to strengthen their midfield if they are to avoid a repeat of last season.
Solskjaer’s side actually started strongly against Spurs, with Bruno Fernandes converting a penalty in the first couple of minutes of the game.
After that it was all downhill from there, as they lost their lead a mere two minutes later, and they struggled to create many chances soon after, as they only had two shots on target throughout the entire game, via SofaScore.
The midfield trio endured a torrid time with Pogba in particular conceding a penalty whilst committing four fouls and failing to score or supply a single assist, via SofaScore.
Van de Beek is the type of player Solskjaer needs to bring some positivity back to the club in a similar vein to Paul Scholes.
Scholes was renowned for being a well-rounded and versatile playmaker while Juan Mata believes Van de Beek is “a very clever player”.
Last season, the Dutch international scored eight goals and supplied five assists in the Eredivisie, whilst averaging 1.9 shots, 1.8 key passes and at least 1 dribble per game, as per WhoScored.
By comparison, Pogba only managed to score a single goal and supply three assists in the Premier League last term, although it is worth remembering he was working his way back from fitness.
Meanwhile, Matic could only muster two assists in the English top flight, via WhoScored.
Lauded as “an exciting player” by Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp, the 23-year-old could be the next big thing to come from the Eredivisie if he is given the chance to prove himself on a regular basis, following in the footsteps of Ruud van Nistelrooy, who was named PFA Player of the Year in 2001/02.
While Van de Beek clearly has bags of potential, he is also capable of playing in a deeper role if required, effectively taking Matic’s place in the starting line-up as he is a more versatile option.
After such a dreadful start to the season, Solskjaer will need all the help he can get and it may be time to get Van de Beek into the XI.