Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted that the absence of international breaks for four months now will give Donny van de Beek and Jesse Lingard chances.
Both players have struggled for game time this season and have consequently had transfer links with a move away. Intriguingly, they have both played only 154 minutes this season, mostly from the bench.
Van de Beek has played five times, while Lingard has made eight outings. Reports earlier this week revealed that Solskjaer promised the pair a greater role in meetings during the summer.
The manager supposedly admitted that he has “overplayed” some players and wanted to balance the scales. However, that has not happened and Lingard’s anger at the situation has emerged.
The Englishman’s future is unclear anyway with his contract expiring next year. Van de Beek, though, is a relatively new arrival but he wants out in January.
Solskjaer has publicly promised the players more game time on several occasions already this season. However, his latest comments had a new tune, following the final international break of 2021.
“The good thing about this period now is that we have no international break, no distractions,” the manager told the club’s official website.
“It’s us, we’re here together for four months until the next international break.
“We know we need to do better, we know we’ve not been playing as well as we can.
“We should do better, we can do better. I’m sure we will do better.”
United face Watford on Saturday before facing a crucial five match-run. They complete their Champions League group while facing Arsenal and Chelsea in the Premier League.
Solskjaer added that the whole squad knows that he has faith in them delivering when required.
Solskjaer backs Man Utd stars
“Everything I’ve seen this week in training bodes very well; they’ve been bright, they’ve looked after themselves when they’ve been away, and it’s important now that the Watford game is the start of what’s to come,” he said.
“Yeah [the whole squad can play a part], they will be [needed]. The players know that.
“I know some have been disappointed with the amount of playing time, but they know when you’ve got a game every three days, there are only two days’ recovery in between.
“We value them and we need them and to be a successful team at the end of the season. Everyone’s going to play their part at different periods of the season, some more than others.”
United return from the international break having lost six of their past 12 matches.