Donny van de Beek has opened up about his potential summer switch to Everton that didn't happen because Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prevented it.
Van de Beek was rumoured to be leaving Manchester United following a lacklustre debut season and the club's influx of attacking talent.
The 24-year-old found minutes very hard to come by following his move to Old Trafford – but now he has to compete with even more stars after the summer signings of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho.
A move away in the transfer window was a genuine possibility, as talks were held with Everton, until Solskjaer put the brakes on his departure.
In an interview with Rio Ferdinand's VIBE YouTube channel, van de Beek was asked if a move to Goodison Park was close.
He responded: “No, I spoke with the manager and the club, and they said they wanted me to stay here.
"The manager was really positive about me, and he said ‘I need you, and I want to keep you here’. He also said: ‘What I see from you every day at training, is a different Donny now’.
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"He was really positive about me, and now I am feeling well, I am in good shape, and I hope that I can show the fans that I have improved a lot.
“He said he sees a big difference, maybe I am a bit stronger now and he can see that I have one year of experience in England now.
The Netherlands international signed a five-year deal with United last summer in a £35m move and seems eager to make it at the club.
His lack of action could harm his chances of making his nation's 2022 World Cup squad, though, and he has already seen his involvement impacted.
When asked if Solskjaer had promised him more game time, he said: “You can never promise that (game time) that’s just football. You can never promise a player and tell him if he can play or not, and I agree with that.
“I have asked to play more. You can train hard every day, but in the end, you need game time. If you only play once a month, you cannot show your best form – playing is really important."
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