Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hints at new role for Donny van de Beek

Donny van de Beek could be given a chance to prove himself as a No 6 in deeper role, hints Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as midfielder tries desperately to kick-start his Man United career

  • Donny van de Beek has yet to feature for Manchester United this season
  • It followed an underwhelming debut campaign following £35m move from Ajax
  • Dutchman wants to get his Old Trafford career going and could get chance
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has suggested he could play as part of midfield two
  • Van de Beek has always insisted he can play in several midfield positions  

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is prepared to give Donny van de Beek a chance to impress in a deeper midfield role as the Dutchman tries to kick-start his Manchester United career.

Van de Beek’s debut season at Old Trafford was a disappointment as he made just four Premier League starts and spent the vast majority of time warming the bench.

The £35million signing from Ajax has also yet to feature for United this season but will be hoping for a chance when they host Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon.

Donny van de Beek could get a chance in a different midfield role at Manchester United

The Dutch midfielder, pictured with Fred in training this week, could feature on Saturday

In a recent interview with Rio Ferdinand’s Vibe With Five show, Van de Beek insisted he could perform well in the No 6 role as one of two deep-lying midfielders in Solskjaer’s 4-2-3-1 system.

‘I like to play as an eight or six, it’s fine. They [United] know me because at Ajax I was playing No 10 a lot but I can also play as a No 8 or six,’ he said.

‘I just want to play, it doesn’t matter where.’


Now, Solskjaer has hinted the 24-year-old may get his chance in that position given Bruno Fernandes is unlikely to be usurped from the No 10 role anytime soon and Paul Pogba also has to be accommodated.

‘Donny has very good qualities. He’s had a disappointing season last year, a disappointing end when he got his injury and stopped him playing for Holland at the Euros,’ United’s manager told Beyond the Pitch.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted Van de Beek may occupy a deeper midfield role going forward

Man United fixtures 

Premier League unless stated

Saturday Newcastle United (H)

Tuesday Young Boys (A)

Champions League

September 19 West Ham (A)

September 22 West Ham (H)

Carabao Cup third round

September 25 Aston Villa (H)

September 29 Villarreal (H)

Champions League

‘He has worked really hard. He’s waiting to be unleashed and to show what he can do.

‘He can play as a six in a [midfield] two, he can play as an eight, as an attacking midfielder, as a 10, we have used him on the wide left coming inside.

‘He is a footballer with many qualities that we like at the club but, yes, he can play as one of the two in midfield.’

Van de Beek may get his first minutes of the season against Newcastle as Cristiano Ronaldo prepares for his second coming at United.

Scott McTominay underwent groin surgery over the international break but Fred is available after an allowance for South American stars to play in the Premier League this weekend.

Solskjaer blocked Van de Beek’s proposed move to Everton prior to the transfer deadline and his agent Guido Albers has demanded he be involved more. 

He said: ‘The perspective now is that we stated that Donny is not a Carabao Cup player, or FA Cup player, or to play only in European games. Donny went to England to play in the Premier League.

‘The way the conversation went this time [with Solskjaer] compared to last summer… things are much more clear now. I have full expectations that Donny will get his chance now.

‘Donny worked extremely hard in the summer. He only had seven days off. The rest of the summer he trained to become top fit. He is totally ready.’

It was a disappointing first season at United for Van de Beek after his £35m move from Ajax 

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