Patrice Evra has explained his comments about Donny van de Beek, admitting he feels “sad” for the Manchester United midfielder.
Van de Beek has barely got a look in since joining United from Ajax over the summer. He scored on his Premier League debut, but has still not started a top flight game for his new club.
Given that United spent £40m on him, his lack of gametime so far has raised eyebrows. Former Red Devils left-back Evra declared that United “don’t need” him while speaking on Sky Sports this weekend.
However, Evra now says his comments have been misunderstood and that he does feel sympathy for the Dutchman.
“My dear United fans, I recently made a comment on Sky saying we don’t need Donny van de Beek,” he said on Instagram. “People need to understand on TV, you need to get straight to the point. You don’t have time to explain why.
“I feel like a few people tried to insult my knowledge of football or they were born after the iPhone X so they don’t know real talk straight to the point. No filter.
“When I said we don’t need him – I will give you a few examples. Fred, Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic. You love them or you hate them when we have to play a big game, when you need to be strong, compact and run everywhere. They always deliver, this is my opinion.
“Donny van de Beek is better than Paul Pogba? No. A different player, but no. Bruno Fernandes? No.
“The way he played for Ajax, that’s what I want to see for United. But we have one problem. How many games has he started for United this season? That’s why I said we don’t need him, it wasn’t an urgent signing.”
‘He will get his chance’
Evra, though, thinks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will give the 23-year-old an opportunity in the first team eventually.
“But of course we need depth in the squad,” he continued. “We challenge for many trophies so we need some players on the bench.
“I’m not happy with that, I feel sad for the kid. When you sign for a team, especially for £40million, you expect to play more.
“But I trust Ole, the player needs to trust Ole, keep his calm and he will get his chance. He will prove to us he deserves to play for Manchester United.
“So don’t twist my words when I say Donny wasn’t an urgency. I would never disrespect him.”