Manchester United defender Tyrell Malacia has revealed that he disagreed with Louis van Gaal after being told he would be playing at centre-back instead of left-back for the Netherlands.
Malacia came on as a half-time substitute during his country's 1-0 win over Belgium in the UEFA Nations League on Sunday night. Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk scored the winning goal in the 73rd minute as the United full-back helped the Netherlands keep a clean sheet.
Eyebrows were raised at Malacia's introduction, as Van Gaal brought him on in place of Manchester City's Nathan Ake. Fans were expecting Daley Blind to tuck in from left wing-back and adopt a more central position, with Malacia being used out wide.
However, Blind remained at wing-back, with Malacia playing the entirety of the second half as a left-sided centre-back alongside Van Dijk. After the game, Malacia admitted he was not entirely comfortable with the role being asked of him, and he even revealed that he disagreed with Van Gaal when he found out why he would be playing as a centre-back.
Malacia was quoted by Dutch outlet De Telegraaf as saying: “I went two or three times too much forward. That is not possible in this position as quickly. But I was corrected by others.
“I didn't agree with it at the time, yes. That's right. After the game we talked about that moment for a while and then it was over. I'm comfortable with United at the moment. The national coach thinks that I should also be able to play in the centre of the defence. But I feel best on the left.”