The Red Devils belatedly kick off their Premier League campaign at Old Trafford having been granted an extra week off following their exploits in the Europa League at the end of last season.
Although United were expected to spend big this summer, targeting the likes of Jadon Sancho, their only deal so far is the £35million arrival of Van de Beek.
However, despite playing against Aston Villa in last weekend’s pre-season friendly, Van de Beek has only been named on the bench with Scott McTominay partnering Paul Pogba in the base of midfield.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka also misses out on a start, while Nemanja Matic isn’t in the squad at all, and Daniel James is preferred to Mason Greenwood on the right wing.
Explaining his decisions, Solskjaer told MUTV: ‘We’ve had a few players just back for a short week. Monday was their first day in training. Some of them have had three weeks.
‘So the ones that have been training and doing well from the start we had to make those changes. And I felt some of them had to wait a little bit longer before they were ready.
He added to Sky Sports: ‘Paul [Pogba] has been training really well since he came back and Donny, it’s his first game. Of course we want him to play as much as he can, but he’s getting into the groove and that’s the decision today.’
On the other benched players, he added: ‘We will see if we need Greenwood today.
‘Wan-Bissaka and Matic only came back into training on Monday so only had four sessions and that is not enough to start today.’
There has been plenty of debate leading into the season over United’s number one keeper, though Solskjaer has retained faith in De Gea.
The Norwegian said: ‘He played well for Spain in the summer and he’s been in really good form in training, so has Dean [Henderson] to be fair — I’m privileged to have the goalkeeping department that we have.’