United signed Van de Beek from Ajax on a five-year contract this summer for a fee around £40 million.
- Stream FC Daily on ESPN+
- Insider Notebook: No Sanchez-style pay bump for Pogba
- Player ratings: 4/10 Fred, James struggle against Chelsea
- Dawson: United, Chelsea draw shows why title push is beyond them
But he 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," Van Basten told Dutch TV channel Ziggo Sport. "When you're a good player you want to play every week.
"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.
"Is it about a five-year contract that he can sign? No, that's bull----. Then you shouldn't go to Manchester United, but wait with it or for another club. You have to want to play football every week, and such a club is then bad for your career."
After United's 4-1 victory over Newcastle United last week, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said the midfielder will enjoy more minutes as the season progresses.
"He'll get his game time," he said. "He's been fantastic in the group. I think you see today and in training, he's so neat and tidy, I don't think he lost the ball once.
"It's about finding the balance in the team. We've won 4-1 today and you're asking why I didn't start one of the players. He'll have a very good impact on the team."
Following the Chelsea match, former United defender Patrice Evra said 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."
United legend Gary Neville appeared baffled by Van de Beek's lack of matches and added: "He must be thinking: 'what am I doing here?'"