The Netherland’s international was the highest-profile signing made by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last summer, but he has failed to nail down a regular berth in the Norwegian’s midfield.
Bruno Fernandes’ continued excellence, allied to Paul Pogba’s resurgence, has severely restricted Van de Beek’s opportunities and he has regularly cut a folorn figure on the substitutes’ bench.
Indeed, the 24-year-old hasn’t started a Premier League game this calendar year and has been used increasingly sparingly by his manager who has also relied heavily on the likes of Fred and Scott McTominay.
Despite a chronic lack of playing time, Groenen insists the former Ajax star is enjoying life in England, even though she hasn’t been able to resist teasing him over his inactivity.
She told ESPN: ‘I joked the other day by telling him that I’ve played Old Trafford more times than he has.
‘I think he’s having a good time, so it must be fine. I talk to him regularly.’
Van de Beek was, again, an unused sub in Thursday’s thumping 6-2 Europa League semi-final first leg win over Roma but Solskjaer, speaking recently, insists the Dutchman will figure in his long-term plans.
‘Donny scored some absolute crackers when we were all back in training on Friday,’ Solskjaer said after the recent international break. ‘He scored some absolute top, top goals that I’d be really proud of myself and it’s done him the world of good, going away and scoring a goal for Holland.
‘We hope we can see a lot of that for the next eight weeks of the season and then to kick on again. Sometimes it’s natural that if you don’t play and have injuries you lose a little bit of confidence and spark.
‘Then you go away with your national team and feel good. I can talk from my own experience, sometimes I went back to play for Norway and you get the feel about yourself better.’
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