Ole Gunnar Solskjaer addresses Donny van de Beek’s antics on the bench during Manchester United’s Champions League clash against Villareal.

Donny van de Beek’s career at Manchester United is an enigma. Once a promising star with Ajax, the Dutchman has been reduced to a bench warmer since joining the club last summer. Some pundits even advised the midfielder to leave Old Trafford to reignite his career.

Despite Manchester United struggling for quality in midfield, Solskjaer continues to pick players like Fred, Nemanja Matic, and Scott McTominay in central areas. Recently, in the team’s loss against Young Boys, van de Beek was sacrificed early after Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s red card after a rare start.

The Dutchman cut an annoying figure on the bench during Manchester United’s late win over Villareal at Old Trafford. It did seem like the midfielder might be sent on; instead, Solskjaer preferred Jesse Lingard and Fred as the team looked for inspiration. Van de Beek was caught on camera throwing a tantrum on the bench.

Solskjaer has now responded to those antics, suggesting he understands the midfielder’s situation and called for more positive energy from the group. He also warned those, including van de Beek, against sulking and creating a negative atmosphere. Speaking to Sky Sports, the manager had plenty to say about the squad and the player’s situation.

Solskjaer said, “I manage a squad full of international footballers, competitive footballers who want to make a difference, want to play. They all want to be on the pitch, of course, they do. Donny was ready to come on [against Villarreal], as all the players should be. I’ve probably been a substitute more than anyone in this club, and you have to be ready all the time.

“I’ve not been very happy a few times, but that’s just a decision the manager makes. Alex (Telles) was coming off as a left-back, and Fred did that job well, so I understand the frustration. Every player is keen to play. That’s got to be built into energy and some determination for when you get on and then show me. That is not just Donny; that is all the players.

“If we’re going to be successful together, we know that we need positive energy. We can’t have any sulkers, but Donny has never affected his teammates negatively. As soon as I see players affecting the team negatively, that’s a different scenario, and I’ll probably be a little bit firmer.”

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