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Ralf Rangnick explains why Donny van de Beek did not play at Manchester United

Donny van de Beek‘s lack of playing time at Manchester United was due to having too much competition for a place in midfield, according to interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

Van de Beek joined Everton on loan on the final day of the January transfer window having failed to start a Premier League game during his time at Old Trafford this season, under either Rangnick or his predecessor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Netherlands international made appearances in five of Rangnick’s 10 games in charge since taking over in early December, but only started the Champions League dead rubber against Young Boys.

Rangnick said that he ultimately decided that he preferred Scott McTominay, Fred and Bruno Fernandes to play in the central midfield positions that he thinks Van de Beek is best suited to.

“In the end it’s a question of competition,” the United manager explained.

“Like Paul Pogba I see him in the centre of midfield as one of the six or eight positions and we have quite a few other good players in those positions and therefore he didn’t get much game time.

“That doesn’t mean he’s not good enough for the Premier League or Manchester United. I’m pretty sure that he will get his game time at Everton and show what kind of quality he can be.

“He’s a fantastic person and in the last nine or 10 weeks when I got to know him I’m fully aware he’s a fantastic team player and I wish him all the very best. I was in contact with him and wish him all the best for the next months at Everton.”

Rangnick is preparing to welcome Pogba back to his midfield having been without United’s record signing since his interim appointment. The World Cup winner’s Old Trafford contract is set to expire in the summer.

Pogba is now ready to return from a calf injury suffered while on international duty with France in November, with a start in Friday’s FA Cup fourth round tie against Middlesbrough likely.

“I’m happy to have him back in the squad as I said he might be playing from the start tomorrow,” the United manager said.

“I see his best possible position for me as one of central midfield positions as either an 8 or 10 but the way we’re currently playing I’d rather see him in the 8 position but we’ll have to see.

“It’s up to him now his contract is expiring in the summer and if in the end he would like to stay or go somewhere else he has to show up.

“It’s not only in the interest for us as a club but it’s in his personal interest that he plays and performs at the highest possible level in the next couple of weeks.”

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