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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has joked that Donny van de Beek "probably followed the gaffer's lead" when he threw his chewing gum in the dugout during Wednesday night's Champions League win against Villarreal.
After not being picked to come on and make an impact against Unai Emery's side earlier this week, a visibly frustrated Van de Beek threw his bib to the ground before nodding his head in disapproval as Fred and Jesse Lingard entered the fray.
The Dutchman, who has made just one appearance in the league this season; an impressive 15-minute cameo against Newcastle, then threw his gum to the ground - a moment that Solskjaer has since reacted to in a recent press conference
He said the following ahead of United's Premier League clash against Everton on Saturday afternoon: "I've been taught when I was a kid I should never swallow chewing gum and he's probably followed the gaffer's lead and thrown it out.
"Absolutely no worries about that. What are you supposed to do? Hand it to someone else? No, of course not."
"He's probably followed the gaffer's lead."
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on why Donny van de Beek threw his chewing gum from the dugout.
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Solskjaer went on to address Van de Beek's reaction on the substitutes bench in further detail.
"You know, I manage a squad full of international footballers, competitive footballers who want to make a difference, who want to play," he continued. "They all want to be on the pitch, of course they do.
"Donny was ready to come on, as all players should be. I've been a sub more than anyone in this club probably - I must have a record appearance as a sub - and you have to be ready all the time.
"I've been not very happy a few times but that is the decision the manager makes.
"Alex [Telles] was coming off as a left-back and Fred did that job well. So I understand the frustration, of course, every player is keen to play, that's got to be built into energy and determination for when you get on and show me."
The Norwegian then said the team can't have any "sulkers" if the club is to be successful.
"If we're going to be successful together, we know that we need positive energy," he added.
"We can't have sulkers, but Donny has never affected his team-mates negatively.
"As soon as I see players affecting the team negatively that's a different scenario and I'll probably be a little bit firmer."
Solskjaer on Van de Beek: "I don't have any issues with Donny at all, he knows what he needs to work on. He is diligent in his work. He has never let his mood affect his team-mates negatively. You have to have that fire in your belly if you're going to make it." #MUFC
- Laurie Whitwell (@lauriewhitwell) October 1, 2021
Thoughts on Solskjaer's comments about the Van de Beek situation?
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