Jermaine Jenas suggested Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is to blame for Donny van de Beek’s disappointing spell at Manchester United so far.
The Dutch midfielder was handed a rare start in the Red Devils’ FA Cup fifth round tie against West Ham on Tuesday after playing a peripheral part in recent weeks.
But once again he failed to make an impact on the game and was substituted after 73 minutes.
Speaking while commentating for BBC Sport, Jenas expressed his sympathy for Van de Beek as he trudged off, and thinks Solskjaer needs to give him a run of games in order to unleash his true potential.
“That look on his face there I’ve just seen sums up unfortunately the way he’s playing at the moment, with a bit of fear and a lack of rhythm,” Jenas said.
“I honestly don’t think it’s his fault. He’s out there being professional, doing everything he possibly can.
“But when you don’t have that run of games in your system or belief that you can go out there and afford to make mistakes, you don’t show the full version of who you are, and that creative streak which got him to the football club in the first place.”
Earlier in the match Jenas insisted he had seen a few signs of promise from Van de Beek, but suggested ways he could improve his showings.
He said: “It’s a bit better from Donny van de Beek but it still feels like everything is taking a bit too long. You have to be careful not to try and think Van de Beek can do what Bruno Fernandes can do. He’s his own type of player.
“I think Van de Beek is still working out of what he is for Manchester United. I’d still like him to want the ball a bit more. Maybe have a shot instead of passing it back or passing it sideway. This United do not look for him, which is a bit of an issue.”
Van de Beek has started just two Premier League matches so far, and is likely to drop back to the bench when United take on West Brom at the weekend.