Donny van de Beek has expressed his delight at sealing a move to Manchester United. The Netherlands international completed a £40million switch from Dutch giants Ajax on Wednesday evening.
Van de Beek, who was also on the radar of Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, has penned a five-year contract at Old Trafford.
The 23-year-old’s deal is understood to be worth £100,0000-a-week.
Van de Beek’s move to the Theatre of Dreams has seen him end his six-year love affair with Ajax, whom he made 175 appearances and scored 41 goals for.
The sought-after midfielder, however, insists joining United is a dream come true.
“I cannot begin to explain how incredible an opportunity it is to join a club with such an amazing history,” van de Beek said.
“I would like to thank everyone at Ajax. I grew up there and I will always have a special bond with the club.
“I am now ready to take the next step in my career and perform at the highest level and there is no higher standard than Manchester United.
“Everyone has told me how amazing the Old Trafford atmosphere is and I am looking forward to experiencing that, once it is safe for the fans to return.
“This team has some of the best midfielders in the world and I know that I can learn from them and also bring my own strengths to the group.
“Having spoken to the manager about his vision for this team, the direction that the club is going in is hugely exciting and I cannot wait to be a part of that.”
Van de Beek’s sentiment was echoed by his father, Andre, earlier this week.
“This is a dream come true,” Andre said ahead of his son’s move to the Premier League. It’s the perfect moment for him to make this step to such a beautiful club. Many clubs were interested, but Donny decides himself.”
Van de Beek’s move to United has seen him become the fourth-most expensive Dutch player, behind his former Ajax team-mates Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.
Former United assistant manager Steve Bruce is a big fan of van de Beek and reckons the Ducthman’s arrival will give the hot-and-cold Paul Pogba a kick up the backside.
“Van de Beek is exactly like Frank Lampard in his heyday; he gets in the box, scores, assists, his goal record of one in three is fantastic. He’s an excellent player,” McClaren said during an appearance on talkSPORT.
“He’s a little bit similar to [Bruno] Fernandes but I think Fernandes has got that pass that, where Van de Beek is in the box Fernandes will pick him out – Manchester United didn’t have that before.
“The only one I probably fear for, and it’s a debate that’s gone for a while, is Paul Pogba. Because you can’t play Van de Beek as your controlling, holding midfield player, he’s got to be an ‘eight’ or a ‘ten’, and at the moment Pogba is the ‘eight’ and Fernandes is the ‘ten’.
“Manchester United hope to have lots of games with the Champions League, etc. and Ole knows you need a strong squad, so maybe, maybe he’s getting three of them so two can play in every game.
“But maybe because of Pogba’s inconsistencies and Ole wanting more consistency there, Ole is laying down the gauntlet for Pogba. At the moment no one is challenging Pogba in that position and Van de Beek will challenge him and challenge Fernandes.”
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