Netherlands international Van de Beek has underwhelmed following his £40million move from Ajax in September.
The 23-year-old has started just two Premier League matches under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and was an unused substitute during Saturday’s Manchester derby stalemate.
Despite Van de Beek’s struggles, Cole remains an admirer of the Dutchman and says it is ‘only a matter of time’ before he establishes himself a first-team regular at his former club Manchester United.
Five-time Premier League winner Cole said on The Target Men podcast: ‘I really like Donny van de Beek and I was very excited when Manchester United signed him this summer.
‘He probably hasn’t played as much as he would have liked, but he has performed well when he has had the opportunities on the pitch.
‘I think it’s only a matter of time until he gets a consistent run in the team and shows everyone exactly what he can do.
‘Van de Beek will soon cement his place in this Manchester United team and we will move forward together.’
Van de Beek made 175 appearances for former club Ajax, helping them win the Eredivisie title and reach the Champions League semi-finals in 2018-19.
But Louis van Gaal, the former Manchester United manager, believes his compatriot made a mistake in joining the Red Devils over the summer.
‘I hope his time will come, but I don’t think he made a good choice,’ Van Gaal told Dutch TV channel Ziggo. ‘I said that right away.
‘He doesn’t have the qualities of Pogba and Fernandes. And now you see that Pogba often doesn’t start. Where should Van de Beek play then?
‘I think you could have seen that beforehand. There are so many teams, which could have done better justice to him, also in the top division. He is a boy with many qualities.’