In a largely quiet transfer window for the Red Devils – save for a flurry of deadline day deals – the big-money recruit from Ajax was the closest thing United had to a marquee signing in an otherwise frustrating summer.
But Van de Beek is yet to start a Premier League game for United and was an unused substitute in Saturday’s goalless draw against Chelsea.
With United having already been well stocked in midfield, former left-back Evra has suggested it was a mistake to fork out £40m on Van de Beek and does not believe he is a worthwhile addition to the squad.
Talking on Sky Sports after the draw with Chelsea, Evra said: ‘We’re talking about Van de Beek… why did we buy him?
‘I have nothing against the kid, but why did we buy Van de Beek?
‘He’s watching the game from the stands every game because we don’t need him. That’s the truth, but people will not say it loud.’
‘He is a player – and I know him very well from Ajax – he is a player that has to play in the position of Fernandes or Pogba.
‘So he’s an attacking midfielder who’s strength is getting in the box and getting on the end of things and scoring goals, or creating, like Fernandes. And if he has to compete with Fernandes, he’s not going to play, is he?’
Evra replied: ‘He can’t. But that’s what I mean, mistakes have been done, so we won’t talk about that. I’d rather talk about the players that are playing.’
Former United right-back Gary Neville also expressed his own concerns about the signing of Van de Beek during commentary of the draw with Chelsea.
‘He doesn’t seem to be at the forefront of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans in every game,’ said Neville. ‘It’s a bit of a mystery that one.’