Dimitar Berbatov has urged Donny van de Beek to bang on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s door and demand answers for his lack of playing time.
The Manchester United playmaker joined in the summer from Ajax for a fee of around £40million.
The transfer was considered something of a coup with Real Madrid missing out on the 23-year-old who boasted impressive numbers across the 2018/19 and 2019/20 campaigns.
But things haven’t quite gone to plan for the Dutchman.
Van de Beek has only made 20 appearances since signing, with half of those coming from the bench.
As a result, he’s only been able to contribute one goal and one assist to his new team this term.
Admittedly, Van de Beek has tough competition in Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes. While Fred and Scott McTominay remain Solskjaer’s first choices for the defensive midfield roles.
But even so, his lack of game time has been so alarming some fans have labelled Solskjaer’s treatment of him “disgraceful”.
Club hero Berbatov has now waded into the debate, and demanded Van de Beek to bang on Solskjaer’s door.
“I don’t know what is going on with Donny Van de Beek at Manchester United,” he told Betfair. “I said before he signed that I like him as a player, he was great for Ajax and his national team, but now he can’t get a game at United.
“I don’t watch the training sessions and the little time he does get on the pitch isn’t enough to judge him.
“He needs a run of games in a row to give him confidence. I can see that his confidence isn’t high at the moment, and that’s normal because when you don’t play you start punishing yourself and ask questions of yourself.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he is starting to look for the exit and nobody will blame him. Something isn’t working.
“At the moment Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay and Fred are all ahead of him, judging by the amount of game time he is getting. Are all these players better than him? I don’t think so, everybody is different and everyone can bring different qualities to a game. That’s why I’m wondering what is going on.
“I still think he can help the team. The minutes he is getting isn’t enough to build his confidence and integrate him into the team and to get used to the Premier League. Sometimes you can be ahead of other players purely based on your name and reputation, this is how unfair it is in football sometimes.
“He should be banging on the manager’s door and ask: what is going on? He should be asking why he’s not playing and what he can do to improve his situation. Then depending on what answers he gets, he can evaluate and do what is necessary. He’s only 23, so he’s got lots of football in him and he won’t want to waste any time. It’s an unpleasant situation for the player and hopefully it gets resolved soon.”