Ole: Donny gives us positive energy
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 'understands' the frustration of Donny van de Beek after the Dutch midfielder was an unused substitute in midweek for Manchester United.
With the Reds seeking a late winner against Villarreal in the UEFA Champions League - one eventually found by Cristiano Ronaldo, the assist coming from substitute Jesse Lingard - van de Beek was not the player Solskjaer turned to on the bench.
Instead, as well as Lingard, Nemanja Matic, Edinson Cavani, Brazilian midfielder Fred replaced Alex Telles, filling in at left-back as United threw the kitchen sink at the Spanish opposition.
Van de Beek had enjoyed a good performance in spite of defeat a week earlier as West Ham won 1-0 at Old Trafford. Solskjaer, speaking at a press conference to preview Saturday's Premier League game against Everton, insisted van de Beek is only providing 'positive energy' to this United team.
"I manage a squad of international footballers," the boss began. "Donny was ready to come on, as all the players should be."
"I must have the record appearances as a sub. I've not been happy a few times. Alex [Telles] was coming off as a left-back and Fred did that job well.
"I understand his [Van de Beek's] frustration. That's got to be built into determination. That's not just Donny but all the players. We need to have positive energy. Donny has never affected his team-mates negatively, I want that out there."
Few are more famous for their ability to impact games off the bench than Solskjaer, who had a unique ability to find goals as a sub during his playing career. No doubt he has passed on advice to his United players in that regard.
Van de Beek has done well when he's been in the side this season, and last campaign too. It remains early on and the Dutchman still has plenty of time to work himself into the side.
The games have come thick and fast ahead of the October international break, United playing four home matches within the space of only 11 days. Squad rotation has been important in this run and will continue to be as the Reds take on Everton in the lunchtime kick-off (12:30 BST) tomorrow.