According to Daily Mail, Manchester United are renewing their interest in Ajax star Donny van de Beek and are looking to hijack Real Madrid’s £49million deal to sign the 23-year-old midfielder.
Ever since graduating from Ajax’s youth setup, Donny van de Beek has made 175 appearances for the club, scoring 41 goals and creating 34 of them in the process. His best return came during the 18/19 season when he scored 17 goals and made 13 assists in 57 appearances in all competitions for them.
As per WhoScored.com, in the current season, before the Eredivisie was suspended, the 23-year-old averaged a goal contribution of 0.6 per game for Ajax and has a pass completion rate of 80.9% along with 1.7 key passes and 1.8 shots per 90. According to a report by MEN, he was better at moving the ball around this season as he attempted 36.47 passes per 90 and his forward passes rose from 8.53 to 10.46. All these stats are an improvement on his previous seasons.
According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf via Bleacher Report, Donny van de Beek and Ajax had agreed to terms with Real Madrid for a £49 million deal, with only the medical left. But the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a huge blow to Madrid’s finances with their players and staff have had to take a 10-20% wage cut since the beginning of April.
The £500million renovation of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium along with the club spending close to £200 million on transfers last summer to revamp Zidane’s squad, has not helped matters. Taking these reasons into consideration, De Telegraaf journalist Valentijn Driessen told Veronica Inside (via 90Min):
“I now hear that Real Madrid is backtracking. The chance that he will go to Real Madrid is nil.”
“The transfer fee was fixed. He was allowed to go for €50m. In fact, everything was round. It was only about the medical examination”
The Dutch international had been touted for a move to the Spanish capital ever since the Eredivisie champions’ stellar run in the 2018-19 season. They won a domestic cup double including the Eredivisie and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League, defeating Juventus and Real Madrid themselves on the way. However, Real Madrid will not be able to sign him owing to financial difficulties. Now that his dream move to the Bernabeu under serious doubt, Donny van de Beek might be on his way to the Theatre of Dreams.
Considering the eventual departure of Paul Pogba from the club, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will want someone who can fill his boots and take control of the Red Devils’ midfield. Ajax CEO and former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has confirmed United’s interest in Donny van de Beek, with Solskjaer looking to bolster his midfield options ahead of next season. United have been provided with the opportunity to swoop in and sign him for a cheaper price of £35 million.
The all-action midfielder has predominantly been used as a box-to-box midfielder in a 4-3-3 system or as one of the two deeper midfielders in a 4-2-3-1 system this season. In previous seasons at Ajax, he lined up behind Dusan Tadic and would break in late into the penalty box and threaten the opposition goal, something that Solskjaer could look to replicate here as well with Rashford or Martial. With Pogba possibly leaving United, Donny van de Beek could be the ideal midfielder to take his place.
With Manchester United, Ole has used a 4-2-3-1 system this season, along with a 3-4-2-1 formation since the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, both of which could be ideally moulded to fit in Van de Beek.
The Dutch midfielder would fit in as the deeper box-to-box midfielder alongside Nemanja Matic or Scott McTominay providing defensive cover. His forward runs and intelligent passing would encourage build-up play from the deep and could be the perfect link the Red Devils need in midfield to transition from defence to offense. Apart from this, he could also provide some much-needed depth to United’s midfield, starring alongside the aforementioned Fernandes, McTominay, and Matic as well as Fred and Andreas Pereira.
With United also being linked with the likes of Corentin Tolisso, Jack Grealish, and Kai Havertz, the de Godenzonen player will be the cheapest option of the lot. However, in terms of attacking numbers, Grealish and Havertz top the list, and Tolisso also is not too far behind them. Moreover, Tolisso or Grealish can also play as the intermediate playmaker which Van De Beek cannot.
Jack Grealish has shined for Aston Villa this season, being their diamond in the rough. Havertz, on the other hand, is the youngest and has been instrumental in the Leverkusen setup, leading them from the front and displaying his versatility in a bunch of midfield roles.
Manchester United have to ensure that their summer signings are not bought for the sake of buying them. Donny Van De Beek is the cheapest option available to them for reinforcing their midfield. But, the question is, will he be their best bet?