Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has underlined his desire to keep Donny van de Beek at Manchester United despite a difficult start to his Old Trafford career.
Since arriving from Ajax in a reported £40million deal in pre-season, the Dutchman has made just eight starts in total, with only two of those coming in the Premier League.
That lack of action prompted Van de Beek’s boss at international level, Frank de Boer, to suggest this week that the midfielder might need to move on in January in order to strengthen his chances of featuring in the Netherlands’ European Championship squad.
However, Solskjaer has reiterated his faith in the 23-year-old and revealed he will be handed a rare opportunity to start when United face Watford in the FA Cup on Saturday.
“I’ve answered this question so many times,” the Norwegian said.
“There are so many examples of players needing a little bit of time – quality players. We have many players ourselves and there are other clubs with examples. Sometimes it takes time. You don’t expect people who care for him to be quiet at times, especially when they want the best for them.
“Donny is going to play tomorrow. There’s another chance for him. Yes, I’ve spoken to him and reiterated and made him aware how much we rate him. But he’ll play tomorrow, and that’s a good chance to kick on.”
One player who could be set for a January departure from Old Trafford is Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
The 23-year-old, who is out of contract at the end of the season, has made just three appearances this term, including one start.
And Solskjaer is open to the idea of allowing him to move on should the right offer arrive.
“I’m not sure if Tim is going to stay or [if]he’s going to take an option now,” he said.
“He’s not played enough, so of course he’s been allowed to speak to clubs, with a view to leaving now in January. It’s difficult when you’ve got good players, talented players, and you can’t give them game time.
“He’s now at the stage where he needs to go and play again.
“It might be [at the]end of January, or it might be in the summer that he finds somewhere else. So, he’s working hard, Tim, he’s ready for a move for any club that he feels ready for.”