For a long time now, Ajax sensation Donny van de Beek has been linked to numerous European giants, with the latest club to make their interest public being Manchester United.
Former United player Edwin van der Sar, who is currently serving Ajax as their chief executive officer, recently admitted in an interview that his former club are ‘interested’ in signing van de Beek, along with La Liga giants Real Madrid.
“It’s clear that clubs like Real Madrid and are Manchester United are showing interest in Donny van de Beek.”Edwin van der Sar
With these two European behemoths looking to go head to head for the Ajax midfielder’s signature, it should be interesting to see where Donny van de Beek plies his trade next season.
Donny van de Beek: Player profile
The Dutch international began his playing career with Ajax’s famed academy and slowly continued to progress through the youth ranks. He made his first-team debut in 2015, spent a couple of years with the reserve team, but became a regular only in the 2017-18 season.
During that period, Van de Beek scored 13 goals in total, establishing himself as one of the latest talents to have emerged from the Johan Cryuff Arena.
The following season, he helped Ajax reach the Champions League semi-finals, beating heavyweights such as Real Madrid and Juventus along the way while winning the domestic league and cup double as well.
The 23-year-old has continued his good run of form this term as well, having racked up figures of 10 goals and 11 assists, in 37 appearances.
Adept at playing as an attacking midfielder, or in a deeper role, Van de Beek is renowned for his ability to glide across the pitch and deliver pin-point through balls. And that’s why clubs like Real Madrid and Manchester United are in the running for his signature.
But as a player, which of the two aforementioned clubs would be best suited for him? Read on to know more.
Earlier in January, various reports claimed that Los Blancos already had an agreement in place with Ajax for Donny Van de Beek but it might have been premature.
Real Madrid are one of the biggest clubs in the world and their midfield needs some reinforcements. Luka Modric will be 35 later this year, while Toni Kroos recently turned 30.
This means Van de Beek would certainly get a place in the starting XI if he were he to move to the Santiago Bernabeu. Los Blancos actually need a player like the Dutchman, who is versatile in his playing style and is also value for money.
Although Donny van de Beek is expected to slot directly into the playing XI at Real Madrid, it might not be that simple. He will have to compete with Federico Valverde, a player who has an incredibly similar profile, and whose performances this season have already made him a crowd favourite at the Bernabeu.
In addition, the likes of Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard, who are both out on loan this term, would be direct competitors to Van de Beek as well.
Given the lacklustre performances of Fred and Nemanja Matic, Donny Van de Beek would certainly walk straight into the playing XI of Manchester United. The club have been on the rise since Ole Gunnar Solksjaer took charge, so it also makes sense for the Dutchman from sporting terms.
He’s still only 23 and fits the philosophy of the Red Devils, who are keen to sign young players. A possible midfield partnership with Paul Pogba would also allow the Frenchman to dictate the game with the insurance that Van de Beek would be there to mop up the danger.
Manchester United could possibly miss out on Champions League football next season, which means the Premier League giants would be a less attractive proposition than Real Madrid. Moreover, the Red Devils are still a long way from challenging for the Premier League title. So, if Van de Beek is eager to win trophies, he will most likely have to be patient if he decides to move to Old Trafford.
Taking into consideration the sporting project of both the aforementioned teams, Donny Van de Beek would be better suited to Real Madrid, who are certain to offer him Champions League football. Given both these teams are in a transitional sort of phase, Los Blancos are still a much stronger team than the Red Devils, who are still a long way away from their glory days.
All stats courtesy: Transfermarkt.co.in