Gary Neville admitted he felt sorry for Donny van de Beek after the struggling Manchester United midfielder was substituted at half-time during Manchester United’s Premier League match against West Ham on Saturday.
The Netherlands international has endured a difficult start to his Old Trafford career following his summer move from Ajax and struggled to cement a regular place in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
With the games coming thick and fast and Solskjaer wanting to protect Bruno Fernandes ahead of a decisive Champions League clash against RB Leipzig, as well as the Manchester derby, Van de Beek was handed a rare Premier League start at the London Stadium.
The Netherlands international, however, was part of a woeful first half display against the Hammers, with United fortunate to be trailing only to Thomas Soucek’s 38th minute opener.
Solskjaer made a double change at the interval with Fernandes replacing Van de Beek and Marcus Rashford coming on for last weekend’s matchwinner Edinson Cavani.
Reacting to the double change, Neville told Sky Sports: ‘It’s not one Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have thought about this morning.
‘He would’ve gone to Bruno and said ‘I’m going to leave you for Leipzig, I’m going to leave you for the Manchester derby’ but he would’ve said at half-time ‘I’m sorry I need you we’re not very good without you’.
Solskjaer revealed before the game that Fernandes was nursing a foot injury but it was his introduction that sparked a second half turnaround with goals from Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood justifying their manager’s changes.