Scott McTominay has backed Donny van de Beek to become an ‘important figure’ for Manchester United and says there’s no need for his team-mate to enter panic mode despite a slow start to life at the club.
Van de Beek, 23, completed a £35million switch from Ajax to Old Trafford back in August and scored on his United debut against Crystal Palace but is yet to start a single match for the Red Devils in the Premier League, with Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Fred and McTominay all battling for places in the middle of the park.
Many fans and pundits – including Patrice Evra, Gary Neville and Marco van Basten – have come out and questioned the move but United head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has defended the Netherlands international throughout his stay.
And Van de Beek also has the support of McTominay, who insists the Dutchman has been a joy to work with in training since he arrived in the north-west.
‘You see the way that Donny comes to training every day, big smile on his face, wanting to work hard, wanting to really impress everybody and, as the manager says, I’m so confident that Donny will be such an important figure in this team and throughout the whole season,’ McTominay said when asked about Van de Beek’s lack of starts ahead of United’s Champions League clash with Leipzig.
‘It’s lifted everybody else, along with Alex [Telles], with Edinson [Cavani], big, big signings like that who are top quality players can really lift the dressing room and I feel like we’ve seen that already with the way that Alex played in Paris and the way that obviously Donny coming off the bench and showing what ability he’s got whenever he comes on the pitch.
‘So I feel like there’s no need to panic for Donny. People can be so quick to come to an assumption that he’s not played or things like that.
‘Give him time, let him adapt to the league, let him settle into his new house and really concentrate on the season.’
McTominay welcomes the added competition in the squad this season and says it would be a concern if he didn’t have to fight for his place at a club of United’s stature.
‘That’s normal,’ the Scotland midfielder added.
‘When you play for Man United, if you don’t have any competition for places then I feel like you should be a little bit worried.
‘And the coaches, the manager, and everybody else has really helped me over the last two or three years to adapt and become a better player because I feel like this time three years ago I was a very different player to what I am now.’