|Image from the Daily Express|
Transfer rumors have been flying around in the media about who United could look to acquire in the coming months. One of the rumors circulating is that of Donny Van de Beek, who is a Dutch professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Eredivisie club AFC Ajax. He was part of the side that had the meteoric run that saw them pip Juventus and Madrid in the Champions League and lose out unfortunately to Tottenham in the semi-finals.
Born in Nijkerkerveen, Van de Beek joined De Toekomst (Nickname for Ajax’s Academy) in 2008 and started his first game for the club in a Europa League match against Scottish club Celtic. Even though he normally plays as a central midfielder, he normally plays a more advanced role compared to other central midfielders. He can play as either a central attacking midfielder or a central midfielder. He has good ball control that lets him escape tricky situations, has good shooting technique and can pick out a pass. His ability to link up play and constantly wanting to get into the box has put him on the radar of many a club over the past season.
Many have said his playing style is reminiscent of Davy Klassen. For me he reminds me in some ways of a slower Christian Eriksen. I am not saying that he is not a slow player, just that when I envision the two, I see Eriksen being quicker off the mark for example. Van de Beek adds a transitional dimension to the Ajax midfield. He has shown to be a big game player as he did score the only goal against Tottenham away to them. Following the 2018/19 campaign Van de Beek was listed among the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or. Not a bad feat for someone so young.
So, the real question that is on the mind of many a United faithful is whether or not he is a good fit at United. On TransferMarkt he is worth £39.6million but I have seen rumors that his release clause is currently sitting at £47 million. About how much United bought for Fernandes in initial fee (£47 million). I am hard pressed to see why United would want to purchase Donny Van de Beek now. Had United had rather settled on trying to get his signature prior to Bruno, I would be all in for the transfer. But with Bruno having already settled in and bringing in impressive performances, it would see where he could play in our system. If Pogba is leaving and United wants to replace him with a world class midfielder, I could see the argument there as well.
For me, the biggest issue would be where he could play in our formation. Do we drop Fred who is having a wonderful season after his initial woes under Mourinho? Do we drop McTominay? Do we drop Pogba? Do we drop Bruno? These are things one must think of when buying a midfielder to play for United. The only reason I can realistically vouch for United purchasing Van de Beek is his potential long term and to add depth the midfield. Obviously, I am not just going to say we should not get him without stating alternatives. There are many but instead of trying to buy Van de Beek I would rather try to get the services of perhaps Grealish, Havertz or even Maddison. Grealish seems to be doing wonders at a relegation battling team, Havartz looks like the kind of player who can light things up and Maddison has already show what quality he brings to the Leciester side. With rumors circulating that Andreas could be sold to make space for a midfielder, it will be interesting to see what transpires in the transfer window for the Red Devils.