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Donny van de Beek has revealed a request he made to Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The midfielder played a minor role in his debut season, despite arriving as a £35m big-money signing from Ajax.
Speaking in a candid interview with Rio Ferdinand on his FIVE YouTube channel, Van de Beek has opened up on his difficult first season at Old Trafford.
The Holland international started just four Premier League games last term, two of which came at the end of the season in May.
Many had expected Van de Beek to be an important player from the off after his £35m move from Ajax, who he once helped reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.
However, the 24-year-old was forced into a bit-part role as he struggled to find form.
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It remains to be seen how much game time he will get this season, having not yet made an appearance for the Red Devils.
But he insists that he has addressed the situation with Solskjaer, though he admits that there can never be any promises in football.
He told Ferdinand: “You can never promise that (game time) that’s just football.
“You can never promise a player and tell him if he can play or not, and I agree with that.
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“I have asked to play more. You can train hard every day, but in the end, you need game time.
“If you only play once a month, you cannot show your best form – playing is really important.”
Van de Beek was linked with a last-gasp move to Everton, with his agent telling Dutch media that he had opened talks with the Toffees.
But the player says that he never really came close to leaving with Solskjaer telling him he remained an important part of his plans.
“No, I spoke with the manager and the club, and they said they wanted me to stay here,” he said when asked if the transfer was ever close.
“The manager was really positive about me, and he said ‘I need you, and I want to keep you here’.
“He also said: ‘What I see from you every day at training, is a different Donny now’. He was really positive about me, and now I am feeling well, I am in good shape, and I hope that I can show the fans that I have improved a lot.
“He said he sees a big difference, maybe I am a bit stronger now and he can see that I have one year of experience in England now.
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