Donny van de Beek was reportedly compared to Henrikh Mkhitaryan in his early months at Manchester United.
Van de Beek is yet to start a Premier League game for United this season and is said to be becoming increasingly frustrated by his lack of game time.
According to ESPN, members of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s staff compared the Dutch international to Mkhitaryan, who found adapting to the English game similarly difficult.
It’s said that they felt Van de Beek, like Mkhitaryan, would be better suited to Champions League football.
Mkhitaryan arrived at United in 2016 from Borussia Dortmund in a £30m deal, before leaving for Arsenal after just 18 months as part of the deal to bring Alexis Sanchez to Old Trafford.
Having scored from the bench in the defeat to Watford – Solskjaer’s last game in charge – Van de Beek was handed a start by interim interim boss Michael Carrick in the 2-0 win over Villarreal.
And the 24-year-old will now have the chance to impress a new manager at United, with Ralf Rangnick coming in to replace Solskjaer on an interim basis until the end of the season.
Paul Ince believes Van de Beek deserves a chance to impress after Solskjaer “took the piss out of him”.
“Donny van de Beek gets four minutes against Atalanta. What worries me is the choices Ole makes,” Ince said.
“This is a player who Ole said, ‘Come to Old Trafford, you’re going to start in my team, you’ll cost £40million, you’re going to be the centre hub of the midfield’.
“This is what he said and Donny thought, ‘F**k me, this is my dream, this is what I’ve been waiting for’.
“Two years down the line he’s on the bench. Ole’s actually taken the p*ss out of him.
“Not only has he taken the p*ss out of him, he gives him four minutes against Atalanta and then goes, ‘Oh by the way, here’s your chance, go and have 10 minutes against Manchester City where we’ve not touched the ball for 85 minutes and show me what you can do’.
“If I’m Donny van de Beek I would’ve said, ‘F**k that, I’m not going on now, you want me to go on for 10 minutes when we haven’t touched the ball for 88 minutes?’ Now you’re taking the p*ss out of him even more.
“It’s decisions like that baffle me, they really do. I don’t understand.
“He stopped Jesse Lingard from going to West Ham because he said he’ll be part of his team. You’re 2-0 down and you don’t bring him on.
“You see the situation with Paul Pogba now, he’s starting to get sent off all the time, all that is starting to flare up again. He’ll be gone by the end of the season.”