Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Donny van de Beek can adapt to play in a number of different positions to best suit the needs of his team moving forward.
The Dutch midfielder joined the Reds from Ajax in September 2020 and as he approaches the first anniversary of his signing, Ole has been speaking about the potential to deploy the 24-year-old in different ways.
“He can play as a one or as a two in midfield,” said the manager, when asked about van de Beek’s role during his pre-match press conference.
“Of course we’ve looked at ways of getting one of the two to go forward. That’s something that Scott [McTominay] is very good at, Paul [Pogba] is good at and Donny is good at but it’s not as easy as that as it depends on who you’ve got in front of you.”
United’s no.34 is yet to feature in this new campaign so far but the Reds’ boss says that is partly due to factors that are out of his control.
Nemanja Matic started the game against Southampton last week, with Ole admitting the Serbian midfielder had a strong pre-season.
“Donny, as I said earlier on, has been unfortunate,” commented the manager.
“In the first game of course we played really well, winning 5-1,” continued Ole. “I think that justified the team selection.
“In the next game against Southampton, Nemanja deserved to play because he was our best player in pre-season, both on and off the pitch.”
With fixtures coming thick and fast on four fronts this season, the United boss emphasised the need to strike a balance in order for his players to be ready when they are called upon.
“When you’ve [only] got a game every eight days, it’s hard for a manager when you’ve got the quality of the players I’ve got.
“But when we come back from the international break, there will be games for everyone. The balance has to be there between consistency and rotation. Donny knows that when he keeps on performing and training how he does for us, he’ll be fit and ready when he plays.”
Solskjaer’s next line-up will be announced at 15:30 BST this Sunday afternoon, one hour before kick-off at Molineux where the Reds will take on Wolves, looking to extend the unbeaten start in the 2021/22 Premier League season.