Scout Reports

How will Donny van de Beek fit into the United midfield and what is his FPL appeal?

One of the biggest deals of the summer transfer window so far saw Donny van de Beek move from Ajax to Manchester United for a reported £35m fee plus add-ons.

The versatile midfielder, 23, signed a five-year contract and could be poised to make his debut in Gameweek 2, when Crystal Palace visit Old Trafford.

Priced up at £7.0m by Fantasy Premier League, the fact he’s cheaper than all of United’s current first-choice attacking players makes him interesting, but what exactly will van de Beek bring to the Red Devils and where does he fit in?

In this new Scout Report, we’ll attempt to answer those questions, and assess his credentials ahead of the new campaign.

History and Statistics

“Dennis [Bergkamp] started talking enthusiastically about a talent in his youth team. It was a boy who reminded Dennis of himself at that age. That was the signal for me to keep an eye on that guy. That was Donny.”
Frank de Boer, Ajax manager 2010-2016

Dutch midfielder van de Beek may only be 23 years old but he arrives at Old Trafford with a wealth of experience playing at the top level.

A product of the famed Ajax academy, van de Beek made his debut back in 2015 during a Europa League match against Celtic, before establishing himself the following season, when he made 29 first-team appearances in all competitions.

A senior international debut followed in 2017, while a further 35 matches aided his development.

However, it was the 2018/19 campaign when van de Beek truly announced himself on the European stage, as a young and exciting Ajax side reached the Champions League semi-finals beating Real Madrid and Juventus on the way.

The Dutchman was a key member of the team, along with the likes of Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong, and despite falling short, caught the imagination of football fans around the world.

“Van de Beek. Nobody talks much about him, but he has a dynamic in the game, he gets behind Tadic, he arrives, he works, he scores goals. Logically, I love De Jong and De Ligt. But the example of the operation of this Ajax is Van de Beek.” – Mauricio Pochettino, speaking ahead of Tottenham’s Champions League semi-final second-leg against Ajax in 2019

More success followed domestically, as Ajax won the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup, while van de Beek’s performances were rewarded with a place on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or, and a spot in the Netherlands squad that reached the 2019 Nations League final.

Statistics (Eredivisie)



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1,505 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Bumbaclot
    • 10 Years
    3 months, 7 hours ago

    What’s DCL been like pre season? Any interest in him this season?

  2. Wiseman Resistant ⚽⚠
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 7 hours ago

    Is Michael Obafemi nailed ?

    1. Wiseman Resistant ⚽⚠
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 7 hours ago

      Or any other decent 5.0 forward ?

      1. ivantys
          3 months, 7 hours ago

          None, all trash.

      2. Captain Fozzy
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 7 hours ago

        Super sub, may get an occasional start

    2. Wiseman Resistant ⚽⚠
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 7 hours ago

      Saint Maxim or Mitrovic ?
      What do you think ?

      1. Balance
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 5 hours ago


    3. BNMC
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 7 hours ago

      I don't want to read too much into Jota scoring last night... but he's very streaky!

    4. ivantys
        3 months, 6 hours ago

        Riedewald is playing as DM/LB right?

        1. pingissimus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 6 hours ago

          Maybe neither

          Mili was in quarantine and is now back and McCarthy is likely ft too by week 1. That would endanger his CDM position where he has been excellent.

          Whisper it - shhhhhhhh - but Mitchell has been looking vey raw at LB. Undoubted talent but doesn't look as steady as he did at end of last season. Riedewald has been the pick of Palace preseason - Wilf excepted maybe - so LB is a possibility for Riedewald

          1. ivantys
              3 months, 6 hours ago

              I know most are benching mitchell but I feel he could be worth playing in weeks 1, 3 and 5 there're potential clean sheets there. Yeah their captain is back and mccarthy should be nailed as well.

        2. Olson
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 6 hours ago

          There's something that's having a big impact on people's teams this year and it's gone relatively without discussion.

          Our unwillingness to put faith in any of the mid-price midfielders

          £12.5 to £14m buys you two relatively solid performers ranging from OK to good (Barnes, Perez, McNeil, JWP, Maddison, Traore, Grealish etc).

          Why are we ignoring them? Lots of individual reasons I guess, but generally speaking it's because we want our £6-7m players to look like they'll hit 150. That desire I think is fed by potential forecasts of similarly priced strikers (Mitro, Antonio) and the actual evidence based greater value of defenders (VvD, Docherty).

          This unwillingness to accept a player whose value is forecast or proven to be worse than options in other positions along with our eyes being too big for our purse is pushing people into loading up on an additional premium option. As individuals these premiums range from offering a worse to a comparible value to the £6-7m mids. Their necessity is diminished when one already owns Captain options.

          What's the upshot of this? This leaves roughly a £3m hole in teams. It's leaving many teams with a relatively weak and risky £5-5.5m first X1 player, it's leaving teams with unplaying strikers, it's leaving teams with strings of terrible defenders who will have to be relied on each week. I keep seeing teams again and again where I count up the players in the squad with fair question marks over and they amount to 5, 6, 7 players.

          This is storing up headaches and wildcards. And in a season where more unpredictability over game time is pretty much a given

          My suggestion. Reassess that price point. There are many players and great mobility between them. Punch in some players, see what it does to your team structure and allows. Forget about their total 2019/20 score and look for short/mid term scoring potential. Would you really rather be spending multiple corrective transfers on £4.5m defenders and £5-5m mids, or using them rotating through £6-7m mids with plum fixtures, or on premium rotation

          Best of luck, TM x

          1. Flair
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            3 months, 6 hours ago

            The players you mentioned just look like terrible picks to me right now, that's why I'm ignoring them.

            1. The Units
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              3 months, 6 hours ago

              This and why I have gone 5 and 5.5 mids for 4th and 5th. Players will pop up in the first few weeks like every season to move to in that price bracket or an easy upgrade.

            2. Pep Roulette
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 6 hours ago


          2. Red Red Robins
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            3 months, 6 hours ago

            Only one id have there is McNeil, but hes blank.

          3. Pep Roulette
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 6 hours ago

            Currently I've got Barnes(7.0) & ASM(5.5) in my team. I'm more worried about Barnes than ASM tbh!

          4. Kobayashi
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 5 hours ago

            It's a risk going for these types players early in the season as they are usually less consistent than the more expensive alternatives. There are far safer ways of spreading the cash with proven options in other areas and downgrading to one of these if an in form bandwagon appears.

            There is also less flexibility to upgrade these players to another more expensive option who hits the ground running without having to take a hit.

        3. Elskied
            3 months, 4 hours ago

            Which 2?

            Saka / Armstrong / Henderson - or any other 5.5 mid?
            other mids: Auba, Perez, Son.