Donny van de Beek will play a “big, big part” for Manchester United this season said manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who defended his decision to use the £35m summer signing sparingly so far.
The midfielder has only started in two of his seven appearances – both in the EFL Cup – and he did not feature in last weekend’s 0-0 draw against Chelsea.
“It says a lot about our depth of quality that we don’t have to use him in every game, it says it all about our ambitions,” said Solskjaer.
During the news conference building up to Wednesday’s match against RB Leipzig, the Norwegian boss highlighted that his side would be playing a game every two or three days and that he would need to make use of his whole squad.
However, the lack of match-time afforded for the Dutchman, 23, has led TV pundits including former United full-back Patrice Evra and ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, to question why the club signed him, especially when they have a bountiful supply of midfielders.
Solskjaer added: “It’s nice for some players and commentators to have a little go. I know you’re short on time on television and have to put your point across quickly, but you have to know you don’t have to start the first three games to know you’re an important part of the squad.
“I’d be disappointed if some of my team-mates said I wasn’t important at Manchester United but I didn’t start many games. Donny will be very, very important for us. Don’t worry about that.”