Manchester United shocked Europe a couple of weeks ago when they announced that they had reached an agreement to sign highly talented Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek from Ajax. The move means that the midfielder will follow in the footsteps of previous Dutchman such as Ruud van Nistelrooy and Robin van Persie, and fans will be hoping that the new addition can have as great of an impact as the legendary stars that came before him.
The fee that United paid for the 23-year-old was remarkably low given what he has achieved in the previous two seasons. Van de Beek was instrumental in the Ajax team that managed to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2018-19, while he once again backed up his strengths in the Eredivisie last season.
What Does Van de Beek Bring?
There is a great level of excitement around Old Trafford with the signing of van de Beek as it is a sign that the clear strategy that we saw in place last term has continued. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is sticking with bringing in young and hungry players, but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that van de Beek is supremely talented. He has thrived in the middle of the park over the last couple of seasons with Ajax, and is a true box-to-box midfielder. He can win the ball back and also knows the right passes to make.
Additionally, he has added goals to his game, as Tottenham fans would have remembered from the two semi-finals in 2018-19. He scored 28 goals and made 24 assists in 188 Eredivisie appearances, with eight of those goals coming last season. Like most Ajax players, his knowledge of the game is another strength, as he can often see things before any other player on the pitch.
Where Does He Slot In?
United needed another midfielder, and van de Beek ticks all the boxes that were needed. It’s unlikely that he will be thrown straight into the action, but eventually, he could find himself in a midfield two with Paul Pogba, with Bruno Fernandes playing just ahead of them. Van de Beek’s ability to control the game will be an asset to this United side, while Pogba and the Dutchman will also be able to take it in turns to go forward.
The main worry would be leaving United open to counter-attacks, but Solskjaer will likely have a plan in place, which will ensure that this won’t be the case. The signing also opens up the option to play a variety of other formations. We could potentially see United play five across the midfield when the Champions League gets underway, with van de Beek, Pogba and Fernandes all having the ability to turn over the ball before quickly sprinting forward on the counter in those tricky European away ties.
The excitement for the signing is huge, because van de Beek is the box-to-box player United have needed for years. His quality and calmness on the ball will bring confidence to the remainder of the team, and there is no doubt that he has a bright future ahead of him at Old Trafford.
Article contributed by Contributor Alex. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.