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.

After ascending the ranks of the Amsterdam club, becoming a first-team star while still a teenager, the midfielder has now completed a transfer to Old Trafford to start the next chapter of his career. 

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.
Born on 18 April 1997 in Nijkerkerveen, the Netherlands, van de Beek began his football story with local side Veensche Boys and was later invited to join the famous Ajax academy in August 2014.
 
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.
A first-team debut arrived in November 2015 during a UEFA Europa League match against Scottish giants Celtic and he went on to make 10 senior appearances across all competitions that campaign, coincidentally scoring his first goal against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Molde in December.  
 
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.
Van de Beek was now considered to be a top talent, but it’s fair to say he truly burst onto the European scene as part of the electrifying Ajax side that reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2018/19, playing a vital role alongside fellow homegrown heroes Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong.
 
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.

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