The arrival of Donny van de Beek at Manchester United does not spell the end for Paul Pogba, says Rene Meulensteen, with there roles to be found for multiple playmakers at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made the Netherlands international midfielder his first signing of the current transfer window.
Some £35 million ($46m) has been invested in Van de Beek, with the 23-year-old Dutchman adding further creativity to the Red Devils’ engine room.
Bruno Fernandes already possesses those qualities, with the Portuguese starring on the back of a January move to England, while Pogba is another who blends graft and guile.
Questions are, however, being asked of whether the World Cup winner could be phased out as another alternative selection is drafted into Solskjaer’s ranks.
Meulensteen, though, feels Pogba will be retained – having seen off regular rounds of exit talk in the past – and that United will find a way of using all of attacking options available to them.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s former assistant told talkSPORT: “I can see where [people are] coming from, in terms of playing basically three attacking-minded midfield players in one midfield.
“In certain games, you can get away with it because good footballers will always find a way to play with each other.
“But if you come up against stronger opposition, then they will leave themselves short defensively because they are all not really defensive-minded players.
“I can see where [people come] from, so to insinuate does that mean Paul Pogba is gone? I’m not too sure.
“I think there has been so many speculations over the past two seasons, when it came to the end of last season it became a bit more obvious that Ole made it clear he wanted to keep Pogba. I’m not too sure whether he will go.”
Meulensteen believes Van de Beek has been acquired to bring greater depth to United’s squad, with Solskjaer needing to be a position where he can rest and rotate as the Red Devils compete on multiple fronts.
“They can’t rely on Bruno Fernandes, whose been brilliant, there’s been so much said about him and rightly so because he changed basically the whole way United play,” Meulensteen added.
"Before that it was a lot of huff and puff there wasn’t a lot of pace in the play, he brought it to their game. Van de Beek will add to that as well. I’m 100 per cent sure they will be able to play together really, really well.
“For Ole it’s the jigsaw, is he going with one more defensive midfielder? Or is he going with all of them including Pogba?
“He’s a really versatile midfielder with a great personality.
“He’s got that quality that not many attacking midfielders have, that timing of getting into the box at the right times. He can score goals, he can make assists. All in all, it’s a really good signing.”