MUTV Group Chat: Why Donny will be a great addition
The topic of conversation during Wednesday’s edition of MUTV Group Chat was dominating by one thing: the exciting arrival of Donny van de Beek at Manchester United.
The 23-year-old has signed a five-year deal with the club, with an option for another year, and all four of our regular pundits were in agreement that the Reds have made a great signing.
Wes Brown, David May, Ben Thornley and Danny Webber discussed van de Beek’s capture at length, with one of our panelists likening him to a former United captain.
“He’s a midfielder that can do everything from what I’ve seen,” declared Ben. “He’s capable of Bryan Robson-esque late bursts into the box. He’s able to dictate play, he can sit in front of the back four and he’s a box-to-box midfielder, full of energy and running. He’s also a really good age and he weighs in with his fair share of goals.
“When you’ve got the likes of [Marcus] Rashford, [Anthony] Martial and [Mason] Greenwood all weighing in with the goals they’ve scored… if we can start adding them from other areas which hopefully Donny van de Beek will be able to do, then we’re going to be up there challenging when we’ve got different players getting into double figures.
“He can obviously see from afar what Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] is trying to build and now the deal is over the line he can concentrate on making Manchester United a better team all round,” added Ben. “I think it’s not just about the fact that we’re adding his quality, I think him coming in will start to bring out the best in other players as well.
“We’re adding to the squad and not replacing, which is important. We need a depth of squad to be able to compete for all the honours that we’re going to be challenging for. I’m sure he looked at Manchester United and thought ‘wow I’d love to be a part of that’ and he now has a chance to prove what he can do.”
Webber agreed and also highlighted the experience van de Beek has already amassed at such a young age.
“For a 23-year-old to have the level of experience he’s got is massive. He was involved in the Europa League final when we played Ajax a few years ago and he was in Ajax’s good cup run last season as well. That sort of experience at 23 is only going to add value and we should have his best years ahead of him.
“It’s the first signing of a few, hopefully,” the former striker added. “For me, it’s the calibre of player we’re bringing in. It doesn’t seem knee-jerk; you can see over time the boy has been followed [by the club] and a lot of work has gone into it behind the scenes. The club are working hard to make sure we get the right level of player and person into the football club.”
Wes and Maysie discussed the previous successes of other Dutch players at United, highlighting the likes of Edwin van der Sar, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Robin van Persie as top examples. With the level of technical ability players from the Netherlands possess, both believe van de Beek will be an excellent addition to the current group.
"I think he’ll be absolutely fine [adapting to English game]. As we know in the past we’ve had Dutch players in and they’ve settled in really well,” explained Wes. "Ruud, Edwin and Robin… they all settled in really well and they speak English.
"He’s just a great addition; he’s young, he’s ambitious and he’s got bags of experience already at such a young age. There’s great competition in the midfield and it’s something that we needed to boost that area.”
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Take a look at 20 images from Donny van de Beek's impressive career so far.
“The lads have touched on what he brings - getting into the box and scoring goals,” continued Maysie. “And if you’re going to challenge for the major honours you need a big enough squad, not just in numbers but in quality as well and he brings that in abundance.
"We’ve seen what he’s like, he’s a top player. He’ll be a great addition. It’s a challenge for him but I’m sure he can compete.
“Jaap [Stam] was unbelievable, Raimond [van der Gouw] as a no.2 [goalkeeper] is up there with [Sergio] Romero, he never let the team down,” he added. “Jordi [Cruyff] came in and had a few injury problems and you’ve got Robin of course and Daley Blind… all fantastic players and what they have is a technical ability on the ball to create things. It’s exciting times.
“I think Ole has done well getting him at 23, the best years are ahead of him. We need probably another two, maybe three players, and I’m sure the club are working hard on that. And then I think we’ve got a real chance of getting into those top two spots and pressing City and Liverpool."
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