The Dutch midfielder moved to Old Trafford in September but has struggled for regular playing time
Van de Beek forged an excellent reputation at Ajax as an energetic central midfielder, and it earned him a transfer to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United in September of this year.
However, it has been tough going for the 23-year-old Netherlands international, as he has made only two starts in the Premier League – with the majority of his playing time coming from the bench.
Van de Beek was handed a rare start against West Ham earlier in December, but was withdrawn at half-time with United trailing 1-0.
The Red Devils improved markedly after the interval to beat West Ham 3-1, and it could be some time before he is given another opportunity to show what he can do.
Van Gaal says he foresaw the problems Van de Beek is facing, and believes there were better stylistic fits for his fellow countryman.
“I hope his time will come, but I don’t think he made a good choice,” the former United boss told Dutch television channel Ziggo. “I said that right away.
“If you have Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, what position should Van de Beek be in?
“He doesn’t have the qualities of Pogba and Fernandes. And now you see that Pogba often doesn’t start. Where should Van de Beek play then?
“I think you could have seen that beforehand. There are so many teams, which could have done better justice to him, also in the top division. He is a boy with many qualities.”
It is early in his United career, and Van de Beek would not be the first player to struggle on making the move to the Premier League – only to blossom further down the line.
With the season so congested on account of the late start due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are likely to be chances in the future for Van de Beek.
With Solskjaer likely to rotate heavily, Van de Beek should get his chance and needs to show he has the quality to thrive at Old Trafford.