United signed Van de Beek from Ajax during the summer, paying around £40million for the highly rated midfielder.
Despite the outlay, Van de Beek 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 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."
Former United defender Patrice Evra said after the Chelsea game 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."
Evra's former team-mate Gary Neville added that he was baffled by Van de Beek's lack of matches.
"He must be thinking, 'what am I doing here?'," Neville said.
Additional reporting by Reuters.