Donny van de Beek and Daley Blind

Fletcher: Van de Beek is a bargain!

Former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher believes his old club have acquired a bargain in new signing Donny van de Beek.

The Dutch international has experience in every midfield position, and the Scot says his versatility and young age will make him an invaluable resource for years to come.

“He’s a top-class player and I think he’s a fantastic signing,” Fletcher told ManUtd.com. “For somebody at his age, for that price, I think it’s a no-brainer. I saw him during Ajax’s run to the Champions League semi-finals last season [in 2018/19], he was probably one of the catalysts for that.

“What I like about him is his flexibility in midfield. He understands when he needs to be a no.10 and what he has to do and he understands when he has to be a box-to-box midfielder; he’s got that Ajax upbringing in him and is a cultured footballer. 
 
“I just think he’s a great addition and he seems like a great guy as well, given the way he’s been treated since leaving Ajax and how everyone has spoken about him. There’s nothing better than having players in your team that are top players but good people as well. It definitely goes a long way.”
During his own playing days in M16, Fletcher was part of a midfield that could call upon Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and a coterie of other internationals, and the five-time Premier League winner feels the arrival of the ex-Ajax man could help give the current side some of that depth.
 
“You really need strength in depth in there because you’ve got a big number of games to play and injuries are going to happen, so you need strength in depth all over the pitch. 
 
“When I was at United we had five, six, seven midfielders fighting for two or three spots. And sometimes you got the jersey, you were the man in form and sometimes you were on the outside looking in – that’s just the way it is and the way it should be at a top club. You should be pushing each other. You shouldn’t think that you’re an automatic starter, and by adding players like Donny it gives competition for places and that squad depth.”

Get to know our new signing!Video

Fletcher moved down to Manchester at the age of just 15 to join the United set-up full-time, and is well versed on the expectations of joining the club, but the 36-year-old says that all van de Beek needs to do is to be true to himself.
 
“Embrace it and enjoy it,”
he stresses.
“It’s the biggest club in the world and it comes with pressures but don’t think about those pressures – you’ve only got one person to impress and that’s the manager. He’s the one who picks the team. You play for the fans and the fans will get behind you. I’d just say to him to be himself and I’m sure he’ll settle in to a really good, positive United dressing room and express himself straight away.”

Watch van de Beek's first interview as a Red!Video

Fletcher mentioned that van de Beek had stood out during Ajax’s run to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2018/19, and he feels it’s in that competition that Solskjaer’s new signing will prove most priceless.
 
“We’re back in the competition and he’s been there,”
noted Darren.
“He’s played for a big club in Ajax and got to the latter stages of the Champions League and that’s what it’s about; it’s the pinnacle of club football. 
 
“It’s a fantastic competition and United should be competing on both fronts [Premier League and Champions League]. You can’t pick one – you have to go and attack both at full tilt and see where it takes you.”


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