Patrice Evra has clarified his comments on Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek following Saturday’s draw against Chelsea.
Van de Beek became United’s first major signing of the summer but is yet to start in the Premier League and remained an unused substitute against Frank Lampard’s men at the weekend.
Evra was critical of United‘s display at Old Trafford and questioned the club’s decision to sign the Dutchman if he wasn’t going to play.
He said on Sky Sports: “A team like Man United needs to be in charge, they need to be in control of the game, not waiting for the last 15 minutes to bring on Paul [Pogba] and [Edinson] Cavani. Maybe they should start, maybe not. I just want to see the best players play.
“We’re talking about Van de Beek, nothing against the kid, but why has he bought him? He’s watching the game from the stand every game. We don’t need him, that’s the truth.”
In a lengthy video posted to his Instagram account, Evra explained that his comments were misunderstood and accused some of twisting his words.
“My dear United fans, I recently I made a comment on Sky saying we don’t need Donny van de Beek,” he said. “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.”
Evra added that signing Van de Beek added some much needed depth to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad and expressed sympathy for his situation.
The former United defender said: “But of course we need depth in the squad. 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.”