Tyrell Malacia has revealed Louis van Gaal thinks the Manchester United defender could operate at centre-back.
The 23-year-old played at the heart of defence on Sunday as the Netherlands beat Belgium 1-0 in Amsterdam, with Malacia replacing Manchester City’s Nathan Ake at half-time.
Virgil van Dijk scored the only goal of the Nations League fixture as the Dutch ensured they topped their group, winning five of six matches.
But Malacia’s switch of position could be a hint that he’s an option to deputise in that role if needed at the World Cup, although the former Feyenoord man feels he is better suited to left-back.
"I’m comfortable with United at the moment,” Malacia told De Telegraaf. “The national coach thinks I should also be able to play in the centre of the defence. But I feel best on the left.”
Malacia also had a disagreement with Van Gaal during a break in play against Belgium, although the United defender was quick to play the incident down.
“I didn’t agree with it at the time, yes, that’s right,” he said. “After the game we talked about that moment for a while and then it was over.
“I went forward two or three times too much. That is not possible in this position as quickly. But I was corrected by others.”
Malacia earned just his fifth international cap on Sunday, but is expected to be in the Netherlands’ squad for the World Cup later this year.
The Oranje have been drawn in Group A for the tournament, along with Senegal, Ecuador and hosts Qatar.