Manchester United are "confident" that Donny van de Beek will make the grade at Old Trafford, according to Edwin van der Sar.
United invested £35 million ($47m) in Van de Beek's talents in the summer transfer window, prising him away from Ajax on a five-year contract.
The Netherlands international arrived in Manchester with a strong reputation as a creative midfielder with a penchant for unlocking defences and an impressive passing range but has so far struggled to earn a regular spot in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's line up.
Van de Beek has been restricted to just two Premier League starts during his first season with the Red Devils and has been left on the bench in each of their last five fixtures including a 0-0 draw with Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.
Solskjaer has deployed Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Fred ahead of the 23-year-old often, leading to question marks over the club's decision to bring him in from Ajax in the first place.
Former United goalkeeper Van der Sar, currently serving as chief executive at the Johan Cruyff ArenA, was involved in the deal that took Van de Beek to Old Trafford and keeps in regular contact with his old club to discuss his progress.
The Ajax chief insists that the playmaker is held in high regard by the Solskjaer and the rest of the coaching staff despite his lack of playing time, telling Ziggo Sport: “I do talk to a lot of people at the club. Fantastic attitude, he does well in training.
“It [fighting his way into midfield] is difficult. [Paul] Pogba is coming back, [Bruno] Fernandes is very important, [Nemanja] Matic and [Scott] McTominay are also there.
"It’s no shame at all, it’s also a big club, isn’t it? Of course, it’s a large amount (Van de Beek’s transfer fee), but they are confident that he will get there.”
Van de Beek's most recent outing for the Red Devils came in the FA Cup, as he took in a full 90 minutes of action during their 1-0 third-round victory over Watford on January 9.
Prior to that clash, Solskjaer offered firm assurances over the Dutchman's future, telling reporters: "There are so many examples of players needing a little bit of time, quality players, we have many examples ourselves and there are other clubs with examples and sometimes it takes time. I’ve spoken to him and made him aware of how much we rate him."