Donny van de Beek, 24, came off the bench in Manchester United’s entertaining 2-2 friendly draw with Brentford on Wednesday night as the Red Devils stepped up their pre-season preparations
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made his thoughts on Donny van de Beek crystal clear after the midfielder returned to action for Manchester United.
Van de Beek, 24, came off the bench in the entertaining 2-2 friendly draw with Brentford on Wednesday night as the Red Devils stepped up their pre-season preparations
The midfielder only returned to training earlier this week after he was given an extended holiday due to his exertions at Euro 2020 with the Netherlands.
But Van de Beek was fit enough to make an appearance at Old Trafford and play the final 15 minutes against Premier League new boys Brentford
He replaced Jesse Lingard for the closing stages, while Solskjaer further shuffled his midfield by replacing Nemanja Matic with Hannibal Mejbri.
And in a clear show of faith in Van de Beek, Solskjaer entrusted the former Ajax man with the armband, which had been worn by Matic up to that point.
Van de Beek struggled to make an impact during his first season with United following his arrival for an initial £35million.
He managed just one goal in all competitions and started four games in the Premier League, with Bruno Fernandes preferred in the No.10 role.
This led to fierce speculation over Van de Beek’s future and a return to Ajax on loan was touted despite the player having four years left on his contract, plus the option for another season.
But Solskjaer clearly values Van de Beek’s input and opted to give him the armband over seasoned performers such as Tom Heaton and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who were also on the pitch at the time.
Club captain Harry Maguire had an amusing response on social media after seeing Van de Beek skipper the side for 15 minutes.
Manchester United’s official Instagram account posted a picture of the midfielder and wrote: “Good to see you back on the pitch, Donny.”
In response, Maguire said: “Don’t stretch that armband, Donny van de Beek,” and added an eyes emoji.
Maguire is expected to spend another few days away from pre-season training after helping England reach the final of Euro 2020.
“The English players and Fred, the ones who went all the way to the finals in the Copa America and the Euros – they needed a longer break,” said Solskjaer last Saturday.
“They’ll be back with us in about 10 days’ time.”
The Red Devils boss added: “That’s unfortunately the way it is, every year where there is a tournament, we have to catch up and hopefully they’ve done the work we’ve told them to do when they’re away.”
Maguire will be joined by fellow Three Lions stars Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw when he returns to training at United’s Carrington base.