Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has appeared to take aim at his former teammate Patrice Evra over his comments about Donny van de Beek after Manchester United's 0-0 draw with Chelsea on Saturday.
The Dutch summer signing was again not named in the starting line-up for the stalemate at Old Trafford, and did not even come off the bench in the encounter.
After full-time Evra questioned the point of United shelling out £40m on the former Ajax man, telling Sky Sports: "I have nothing against the kid, but why did we buy Van de Beek?
"He's watching the game from the stands every game because we don’t need him. That's the truth, but people will not say it loud."
Evra later doubled down on this view in an Instagram video, but he did add: "People need to understand on TV, you need to get straight to the point. You don't have time to explain why."
And speaking ahead of his side's Champions League game against RB Leipzig on Wednesday, Solskjaer made reference to those comments during a strong defence of Van de Beek.
"Donny is going to play a big, big part this year," Solskjaer insisted.
"At the moment I realise the topic is Donny van de Beek, it's nice for some players or commentators to have a little go.
"I know you're short for time on tele and have to put your point across quickly, but you have to know you don't have to start the first three games to be a very important member of the squad.
"I would be disappointed if some of my team-mates said I wasn't important at United. I didn't start many games. Donny is going to be very important for us, don't worry about that."
It remains to be seen if Van de Beek makes an appearance against Leipzig, but Solskjaer insisted the fact he has yet to play a key role only goes to show the strength of depth of his squad.
"When players come into a new league, to a new team, it's always going to be a time that he adapts," he added.
"When he's played he plays really well. It says a lot about our depth and quality in the squad, that we don't have to use him every single game because we have other players as well."
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