Donny van de Beek’s Man Utd shirt number confirmed in wonderful gesture

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Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Donny van de Beek for £34m plus £4m in add ons.

The 23-year-old has moved to Old Trafford after spending 12 years on the books at Ajax, having scored 41 goals and laid on 34 assists in 175 first-team appearances.

The Netherlands international was thrusted into the limelight by his displays in the Champions League in 2018/19 as his side were knocked out by Tottenham at the semi-final stage.

United have now won the race to sign Van de Beek amid apparent interest from Real Madrid, and he has been handed the number 34 shirt for the new Premier League season.

He previously held the number 6 jersey at Ajax, but asked to switch to honour former team-mate Abdelhak Nouri, who collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrhythmia attack during a pre-season game in 2017, cutting his career short.

Explaining the heartwarming number choice, Van de Beek said: “This is a special thing for me because my good friend Abdelhak Nouri… maybe you know the story.

“He had a heart attack and he’s a good friend of mine, and I’m really close with his family and his brother is one of my best friends, and I talk a lot with them.

“So I decided to take his old number on my shirt. I want to get good memories with this number.”

A number of Nouri’s other ex-colleagues have asked to do the same thing, including: Justin Kluivert at Roma, Joel Veltman at Brighton and Amin Younes, now of Napoli.

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