Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted that he has no ‘issues’ with fringe player Donny van de Beek amid suggestions the midfielder is growing increasingly frustrated with a lack of playing time this season.

Despite hopes that his second season at Old Trafford would yield more game time than his first, Van de Beek has only played six minutes of Premier League football so far in 2021/22.

He started the Champions League opener against Young Boys earlier this month but was subbed at half-time, while he appeared visibly frustrated on the bench this past week when he was overlooked to come on against Villarreal at Old Trafford.

Speaking about the incident on Friday, Solskjaer initially commented, “we can’t have energy-sappers or sulkers”, pointing out that he himself was often a substitute during his playing career.

In additional comments, the United boss clarified the situation further, insisting that Van de Beek is well aware that he is a valued member of the squad and insisting there are no ‘issues’ with the player.

“He knows he’s not frozen out,” Solskjaer said to the press.

“It’s Manchester United. When you’re a headline player and you’re not playing, it’s always going to make headlines, but I’ve got plenty of them every week who don’t play.

“I don’t have any issues with Donny at all. He knows what he needs to work on and he is diligent in his work. He’s never let his mood affect his team-mates negatively. You have to have that fire in your belly if you’re going to make it.”

Having been nominated for the Ballon d’Or in 2019 following his excellent performances in the Champions League, Van de Beek was a much praised £40m signing for United in 2020.

But the overwhelming majority of his 36 appearances in all competitions last season were off the bench and that doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon.

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