Introducing new United signing Donny van de Beek
Much like Manchester United, Dutch giants AFC Ajax have a proud history of producing homegrown players and Donny van de Beek is one of their most exciting talents in years.
The 23-year-old has been described as a classic box-to-box midfielder during his time in the Netherlands and regularly played as a no.10 behind the striker at Ajax. The versatile Dutchman is equally adept at playing centrally alongside a partner and wields an impressive range of passing, as well as an eye for scoring goals.
During the 2019/20 Eredivisie season, which was cut short due to the coronavirus, van de Beek registered eight goals and five assists, while also creating 41 chances for his team-mates.
Donny made his debut for the club's reserve team, Jong Ajax, in January 2015 and, two months later, was placed on the first-team bench for an Eredivisie match against ADO Den Haag. Although he was not needed by head coach Frank de Boer that day, it provided the starlet with a glimpse of what was to come.
At the end of 2014/15, Donny won the AFC Ajax Talent of the Future award, to join a list of previous winners that includes Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder, Daley Blind and Christian Eriksen.
Van de Beek truly joined Ajax's first-team squad in 2016/17 when he made 29 appearances, and the last was against United, as a 70th-minute substitute during the Europa League final in Stockholm.
Another 35 Ajax appearances followed in 2017/18 and also a senior international debut with the Netherlands, which resulted in a 1-0 loss to England courtesy of a Jesse Lingard goal.
Donny scored three goals on that incredible run to the last four, including a winner against Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final first leg at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Our new recruit netted against another English opponent in 2019/20, when Ajax drew 2-2 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Although the most recent Eredivisie season was voided due to the coronavirus pandemic, van de Beek was enjoying a positive campaign with eight goals and five assists to his name from 23 games, placing him on course to achieve his best figures to date.
The 23-year-old has now left Ajax with winners’ medals for the Eredivisie title, KNVB Cup and Johan Cruyff Shield.
Get ready for next season. Our 2020/21 home and away kits are available now from United Direct.