Netherlands manager Frank de Boer says he isn’t concerned about Donny van de Beek’s lack of game time at Manchester United.
The midfielder, a pre-season arrival from Ajax, has been a bit-part player for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this term, making only four starts across all competitions – none of which have been in the Premier League, where he has seen just 75 minutes of action.
De Boer acknowledged that the player has reason for frustration but urged patience.
- Harness Ronaldo, liberate Sancho and win something! Erik ten Hag's key objectives at Man Utd
- Laura Blindkilde Brown: England’s De Bruyne-inspired teen who overcame heart surgery
- Beckham, Henry, Ibrahimovic and the 21 best MLS transfer signings of all time
- Best Lionel Messi goals of all time: From Clasico crackers to Champions League solo efforts
When asked in a press conference if he wanted to give the 23-year-old a sympathetic hug, De Boer said: "I can't hug him right now of course! I try to give him as much confidence as possible, which I showed by starting him against Italy.
"I think he did well in the games he played, I saw him a few times at United. He's doing well, but they have a great midfield with [Bruno] Fernandes, [Paul] Pogba, Fred, [Scott] McTominay and [Nemanja] Matic.
"It's difficult, but I'm sure he will play his minutes. I can understand he wants to feature more frequently, but on the other hand, it's always normal that you have to adapt when you go to a new league.
"Let's hope he will get his playing time. I am happy that he's well-rested. We can use him here."
After the international break, Van de Beek will likely target Pogba's position in the United team.
The Frenchman has created just two goalscoring chances in the Premier League this term, only one more than Van de Beek despite playing 298 more minutes than him.
Pogba also has no goals in the top flight – Van de Beek netted his first for the club against Crystal Palace.
Pogba’s international manager, Didier Deschamps, made headlines on Monday when he suggested the midfielder couldn’t be happy with his current role at Old Trafford.
Deschamps said he is keen for Pogba to rediscover his rhythm at United, but his comments did little to quiet talk linking him with a move away from the club.
United, meanwhile, are facing an injury headache with Luke Shaw ruled out for the next month – possibly handing an opportunity to summer signing Alex Telles.