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.
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