Former Netherlands forward Marco van Basten believes Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek's lack of game time is bad for his rhythm and the 23-year-old should have joined a club where he can play more regularly.

United signed Van de Beek from Ajax on a five-year contract this past summer with reports claiming they paid the Dutch side an initial fee of £35m.

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But the Dutch international has made only four substitute appearances in the Premier League and was not used in the 0-0 draw against Chelsea on Saturday.

"Donny shouldn't have gone to United. When you're a good player you want to play every week," Van Basten told Dutch TV channel Ziggo Sport.

"It's really bad for a player like Donny to play six or seven games this year. That's shocking for your rhythm.

"I know he's earning loads more than he used to. But as a top player you have to be critical and look at the chances of playing when you sign for a new club. Donny should have waited for better prospects and signed for another club."

Former United defender Patrice Evra said after the Chelsea game that United did not need Van de Beek.

"That's the truth," the Frenchman told Sky Sports. "Nothing against the kid, but why have we bought him? He's watching from the stand every game."

Evra's former team mate Gary Neville added that he was baffled by Van de Beek's lack of matches.

"He must be thinking, 'what am I doing here?'," Neville said.

United are 15th in the Premier League table after five games, although they could climb as high as fifth if they win their game in hand.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side face RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday, before welcoming Arsenal to Old Trafford on Sunday.

'Should have used the money to sign Sancho' - Our view

Van Basten, Evra, Neville, et al. You’re all correct. This makes no sense.

United spent £35 million to recruit Van de Beek – a figure that was roughly the difference between their valuation of Jadon Sancho and Borussia Dortmund's. Why not have just used this money to bump up their offer for a player the manager actually wanted?

In a week that saw United play PSG and Chelsea, Van de Beek got two minutes on the pitch. And even that cameo was only so Solskjaer could run down the clock in Paris after Marcus Rashford’s late winner.

He couldn’t get into a side that featured Scott McTominay, Fred, Dan James and Juan Mata at the weekend – a side that played out a turgid 0-0 – so really, what is the point of all this?

With additional reporting from Reuters

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