Manchester United are planning a January swoop for Ajax’s Donny Van de Beek, according to ESPN.
The 22-year-old attacking midfielder played a pivotal role in Ajax’s successful 2018/19 season that saw them reach the Champions League semi-final.
The Red Devils are desperate to strengthen their squad in the January window, as the long term injuries to Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba have decimated a midfield which was already short in numbers after the loss of Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini.
Van de Beek is considered one of the best young attacking midfielders in the world. He already has nine full caps for Holland and would represent an excellent addition to the squad. It would certainly solve an immense problem if the Dutchman could replicate his assist ratio in the Eredivisie of 0.6 goals per game at Old Trafford.
Donny van de Beek has been directly involved in 0.6 goals per game from central midfield in the Eredivisie this season.
Special talent. 🇳🇱 pic.twitter.com/lbuUfG2Krt
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) January 8, 2020
It is curious that Van de Beek has not appeared to be on United’s radar until now. The player was, however, on Mauricio Pochettino’s wish list whilst at Spurs, leading some fans to speculate as to whether Ed Woodward is taking his transfer notes from an incoming manager rather than from Solskjaer, as ESPN claim.
— Hesham Bilal-Hafiz (@hesham786) January 8, 2020
The challenge of prising one of Ajax’s star players away from Holland half way through their domestic campaign will not be an easy one, especially when considering that the Amsterdam side are only three points clear of AZ Alkmaar in the Eredivisie. Whether executive vice chairman Ed Woodward can rise to that challenge and offer terms that are acceptable to both club and player remains to be seen.