Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has his hands tied over the situation emerging with Donny van de Beek.
That is the opinion of former Manchester United star Dwight Yorke, who shared a dressing room with the Red Devils coach.
Van de Beek was signed last summer from Ajax for a fee of around £40m after an impressive few seasons in the Eredivisie.
But he joined a side with a midfield packed with stars such as Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.
It has led to the Dutchman being largely marginalised while his confidence now looks shot.
A rare outing on Tuesday night saw him start against West Ham in the FA Cup.
But with 77 minutes played an no impact made, Solskjaer hooked him for Fernandes and United went on to win after another sub Scott McTominay netted in extra-time.
Van de Beek looked distraught to be brought off but his performance was not good enough.
And Yorke believes Solskjaer must show the midfielder patience through a tough period.
“I feel for players because they come in with a big fee and expectations at a football club like United,” he told United's official website.
“Donny's come in as a big-name summer signing for us and a lot is expected of him.
"You know, when you come to this club, there is competition for places and it's not straightforward. You've got to earn the right to be in the team.
“He's found himself in an unusual position and he has to fight hard and show determination to overcome this and get into the team.
“He'll get the chance to impress the manager, who is seeing him on a daily basis in training, but the performances and the results have largely been fantastic so the manager is caught with his hands behind his back.
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"He needs to pick the players who are getting results to this point and a manager, as an aspiring manager myself, these are the problems you want.
"You're trying to manage these players in the right circumstances but it will be very hard for van de Beek.
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