Manchester United manager will have a sizeable gap in his midfield to fill following the international break after Paul Pogba suffered a major injury blow.
The 28-year-old picked up a serious thigh problem during a training session with France ahead of their World Cup qualification match against Kazakhstan on Saturday.
Laurie Whitwell, The Athletic’s United reporter, provided an update on Pogba’s situation, revealing he could be set for an extended spell on the sidelines.
He tweeted: “Paul Pogba at risk of being out until next year after French medics diagnose thigh injury as 8-10 weeks on sidelines. #MUFC still to assess Pogba, who is on his way back to England.”
With the influential engine room operator potentially being consigned to the treatment table until the new year, Solskjaer must find a solution to his enforced absence.
Luckily for the Norwegian tactician, though, he has an array of talents at his disposal, and he may well have the perfect replacement already within his ranks.
The creative talent has seen the likes of Fred, Scott McTominay and Pogba continuously picked ahead of him with mixed results, adding to his ever-growing frustrations.
Following a tricky maiden campaign on English shores, it was reported that the 24-year-old had bulked up over the summer after missing Euro 2020 through injury, and United teammate Bruno Fernandes lauded Van de Beek’s extra efforts during pre-season.
“As a professional player you always prepare for your season before you come back for training, you always do something before, and I think everyone was doing their jobs at home,” the Portugal star told the official Manchester United website.
“Yes, he’s (Van de Beek) working hard and working hard in the gym. Obviously, he is one of the quality players we know, and now he’s building up,” he added.
Van de Beek has also been dubbed “perfect” by former United midfielder Owen Hargreaves.
Nevertheless, the £22.5m-rated gem has found opportunities hard to come by at the Theatre of Dreams once again in the current campaign, featuring from the off on just two occasions in all competitions under Solskjaer.
But now, with Pogba believed to be unavailable for at least two months, United’s boss may place his faith in Van de Beek over the more defensively-minded Fred.
The Red Devils are in need of victories and convincing displays as the pressure continues to mount in the red half of Manchester, and the Netherlands international could be the player to release it.