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"I didn't start many games" - Solskjaer defends Van de Beek's use

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has defended the lack of game time given to Donny van de Beek, insisting the midfielder will be an important Manchester United player.

The €39million signing from Ajax has played just 168-minutes for United this season, with the vast majority of them coming in the Carabao Cup.

Van de Beek is yet to start a Premier League game. The 23-year old was an unused substitute in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Chelsea, leaving many to question why.

Ajax and Netherlands legend Marco van Basten feels the midfielder should have sought a move elsewhere in the summer, saying, "Donny should have waited for better prospects and signed for another club".

Adding fuel to the fire on Monday night, Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports, "Van de Beek, I don’t understand the signing, I really don’t.

"I don’t get how he was ever going to play or where he’s going to fit in.

"As soon as he was signed my thought was “he plays number 10, Fernandes plays there, Fernandes can play there."

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's Champions League game with RB Leipzig, Solskjaer responded to the questions around his (lack of) use of the Dutchman.

"When players come into a new team, a new league it’s always going to be a time that he adapts," the United boss said.

"When Donny has played, he’s played really well. It says a lot about our depth of quality in the squad that we don’t have to use him every game. It also says everything about our ambitions.

"Donny is going to play a big big part this year. I know at the moment the topic is Donny van de Beek.

"It’s nice for some players and commentators to have a little go... but you have to know that you don’t have to start the first three games to be a very important player in a squad.

"And I would be disappointed if some of my teammates said I wasn't important at Man United, but I didn't start many games.

"Donny's going to be very very important for us, don't worry about that".

Solskjaer says the demands of the season dictate that he rotates his team, and particularly his midfield, "It’s going to be a long season and the depth of our squad is better now. Last game Donny, Nemanja and Paul all started on the bench - they’re all experienced international footballers. It’s not easy.

"But we have so many games this season and they’re all going to play a big part, nobody will be able to play all of them.

"They work well as a team, is it two, three or four? And who’s on form? Who needs a break?"

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Read more about

Ajax Champions League Donny Van De Beek Gary Neville Jamie Carragher Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Premier League RB Leipzig Solskjaer United Van De Beek

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