The Red Devils signed Netherlands international Van de Beek from Ajax for £40million in September.
Van de Beek, 23, has endured an underwhelming start to his career at Old Trafford, however, and is yet to start a Premier League fixture under Solskjaer.
Solskjaer has insisted Manchester United fans should ‘not worry’ about Van de Beek, while fellow midfielder Scott McTominay says his ‘time will come’ for the club.
But Redknapp reckons Solskjaer already regrets securing his signature and wishes he had bolstered his defensive options instead.
‘He [Van de Beek] is a talent, we’ve seen that when he’s played for Ajax and Holland,’ Redknapp told Sky Sports’ Pitch to Post podcast.
‘But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sees him day in, day out. If a player is good enough, he plays.
‘Solskjaer obviously doesn’t think he’s right for the team yet. Perhaps he isn’t fit enough or isn’t showing enough in training.
‘You saw when Fabinho first came to Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp didn’t play him. But it wasn’t a big deal or a big focus at the time because they were doing so well and they had other players.
‘But the problem is, where do you play him? It’s a very difficult one for Solskjaer and he probably would rather have not had him, if he’s totally honest, and would rather have that £40m on another centre back and bolster the area where they definitely do have problems.’
Speaking this week, Solskjaer insisted Van de Beek would play a ‘big part’ for Manchester United this season, despite his limited playing time so far.
‘It says a lot about our depth of quality that we don’t have to use him in every game, it says it all about our ambitions,’ said Solskjaer.
‘It’s nice for some players and commentators to have a little go. I know you’re short on time on television and have to put your point across quickly, but you have to know you don’t have to start the first three games to know you’re an important part of the squad.
‘I’d be disappointed if some of my team-mates said I wasn’t important at Manchester United but I didn’t start many games.
‘Donny will be very, very important for us. Don’t worry about that.’