Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pointed towards his own experience as a Manchester United player when insisting Donny van de Beek does not always have to start to play an important role at the club.
Van de Beek has played just 59 minutes of Premier League football since joining from Ajax for £39m in the summer, and was an unused substitute during Saturday's 0-0 home draw with Chelsea.
Solskjaer developed a 'super-sub' reputation during his own playing days at Old Trafford, and the United boss insisted Van de Beek will play a big part this campaign be it off the bench or when named in the starting XI.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday's home Champions League match against RB Leipzig, Solskjaer said: "When players come into a new league, to a new team, it's always going to be a time that he adapts. 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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"I also think it says everything about our ambitions, we want to challenge for trophies this season.
"Donny is going to play a big, big part this year. 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 TV 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.
Donny van de Beek minutes this season
"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."
McTominay: Let Donny settle
With Bruno Fernandes holding down the attacking midfield role, there has been fierce competition for the two midfield places behind the Portugal international at United.
Scott McTominay has started the last two Premier League games - plus the 2-1 win at PSG - alongside Fred, with Van de Beek joined by Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic on the bench for the win at Newcastle and draw with Chelsea.
McTominay joined Solskjaer for the pre-match press conference, and the Scot said this is no need for Van de Beek to panic.
He said: "You see the way Donny comes to training every day, wanting to work hard and impress everybody. As the manager says, I'm so confident Donny will be such an important figure in this team.
"With him, Alex [Telles] and Edinson [Cavani], big signings like that who are top quality players can really lift a dressing room. We've seen that with Alex in Paris and Donny off the bench.
"There's no time to panic for Donny, people can be so quick to come to an assumption that he's not played. Give him time, let him settle and let him concentrate on his season."
Ole: Midfield options a nice problem
Solskjaer added: "It's going to be a long season. The depth of our squad is better. To leave players out [on the bench] like the last game, Paul, Nemanja, Donny, they're all experienced international footballers. It's not easy, we have so many games this season and they're all going to play a massive part.
"Balance when you put an XI together is important. There's all sort of discussions, who's on form, who needs a break. There are all these little things.
"I've part been part of a successful United team myself. We had two players in every single position. The most successful teams have competition for places. It's not easy to leave players out, it's very difficult, but the pressure is on getting results and picking a team to win the next game.
"We need to win more than just one game. It's a nice problem to have, I'd rather have that then having players who are not ready for the Premier League."
Could Van de Beek's omission be more about saving a desperate situation, than the 23-year-old's quality? Dharmesh Sheth thinks so...
"I don't know whether it is reluctance from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, I just think Van de Beek has become a victim of circumstance this season," Sheth told the Sky Sports Pitch to Post Review podcast. "Solskjaer was asked the question after the game, and he promised he would get games because of the packed schedule, but I think he will have to be patient.
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"Many thought that when Van de Beek came in, it was going to be two players from Bruno, Pogba and Van de Beek in that position. Now, because of these results, you would think Solskjaer has decided to give the defence more protection by picking Scott McTominay and Fred, and as a result, instead of it being two players from Bruno, Pogba and Van de Beek, it's now one. That place, given current form and profile, is always going to be filled by Bruno Fernandes.
"That is why Van de Beek has found limited opportunities, even more so now, because of the deployment of the two holding midfielders."
'United need that magic'
Dutch football expert Marcel van der Kraan on Sky Sports News:
"He's not playing at all. I think it's 61 minutes in all those games and Marco van Basten says: 'Why have you done it? What have you done? You should have gone to another club'.
"It's amazing because Manchester United have to have that magic. Robin van Persie was there, Ruud van Nistelrooy was there and Edwin van der Saar was there. All these great Dutch players went there because they could win big trophies.
"What is Van de Beek doing? He's ended up sitting on the bench and the club has lost its magic because of a lack of trophies lately."