Donny van de Beek has revealed his views on Manchester United’s new signings.
The Dutch midfielder, who spent the latter half of last season on loan at Everton, thrived under Erik ten Hag’s stewardship at Ajax before he moved to England.
Although much was expected from the versatile ballplayer who had caught the attention of Real Madrid, the £35 million man has struggled to impose himself on United’s squad.
Training under four different managers [including Michael Carrick’s brief spell as caretaker], Van de Beek has been consistently overlooked for a prominent role in midfield in favour of Bruno Fernandes, Fred, and Scott McTominay.
Van de Beek spoke to the club’s in-house magazine, United Review, about the new signings, saying:
“I know them already, as a player.
“Some of [them] I played against – I played against Christian [Eriksen], against Casemiro as well, with Ajax. Licha [Lisandro Martínez], I played together with him.
“So, I know what they are capable of and they are really good players, so they will help us for sure.
“They are nice people, but they are also team players. I think this is important. As people, they fit very well with the players we have.”
Van de Beek highlights the ‘strong-mentality-profile’ which had been neglected at United and thus sought by ten Hag.
Furthermore, his relationship with Martínez may help the Argentina international to integrate himself easier into the dressing room.
What Van de Beek does reference are the capabilities of Eriksen and Casemiro – two players who have made the Dutchman’s professional life more difficult.
Although he seems rather tame and neutral in this interview, it would be expected that Van de Beek must significantly raise his competitive drive to displace Eriksen, McTominay and Fernandes from the starting line-up. That does not even include the mammoth barrier of Casemiro, who is yet to make his full Premier League debut.
These next four months (until the January transfer window) are vital for Van de Beek’s United career. Playing under the tutelage of a familiar manager, he must fight to become one of these “really good team players”.