Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Insists Donny Van De Beek Is ‘Working Hard’ To Force His Way Into The Manchester United First-Team

Van de Beek made his first appearance of the season as a late substitute in the 4-1 win over Newcastle but still failed to force his way into the starting XI, despite the absence of Scott McTominay and belated squad addition of Fred.

The 24-year-old Dutchman was prepared to join Everton on loan late in the transfer window but Solskjaer refused to sanction the move.

Van de Beek started only four times in the Premier League last season and was omitted from Louis van Gaal’s first Netherlands squad. United start their Champions League campaign against Young Boys in Bern on Tuesday but Van de Beek could struggle to make the starting side.

“Donny is part of the squad, same as everyone else,” Solskjaer stressed. “He is fighting to get minutes. First taste of minutes with a crowd today. This is Man United, Donny. This is what it feels like.

“He keeps working hard. He is such a professional. Top lad as well. He will get his minutes. Tuesday? Let’s see what happens.”

Jesse Lingard scored his first Premier League goal at Old Trafford since December 2018 and is in contention for a first United start since January in Switzerland.

The 28-year-old would have started the season but for contracting Covid-19 the week before United’s opening fixture against Leeds and Solskjaer is delighted with Lingard’s resurgence.

“Jesse has had his hard times and he is a lovely boy, or man now,” Solskjaer added. “He was allowed to go out. I could have kept him because I know how good a player he is but he showed everyone with West Ham and England what kind of player he is.

“Today was a special day for him as well, coming back and scoring a goal in front of the fans. He is a Man United fan, he has grown up with the Man United kit on himself since he was a baby, so I am so pleased for him and he is a top, top player and person.”

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