Donny van de Beek to Manchester United is official, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer adding another midfield piece to a club he hopes can compete for the Premier League.
[ MORE: How will Van de Beek fit at United? ]
Solskjaer was positively glowing about the 23-year-old, who will arrive on a five-year deal with a reported price tag that starts at $44 million before incentives.
“His ability to see space, time his movements and read the game will really complement the qualities that we have in midfield and his arrival really strengthens the depth of talent we have in that position,” said the United gaffer.
Van de Beek was once ticketed for Real Madrid and then mentioned as possible for Barcelona once Ronald Koeman took over, but United has been linked for some time and Solskjaer sealed the deal with his old United teammate Edwin van der Sar, a director at Ajax.
The player underwent a medical while with the Netherlands national team and has now been unveiled as a Red Devil.
“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,” Van de Beerk said. “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.”
The center midfielder was expected to fetch Ajax as much as $65 million for a player who turned 23 in April and posted has 10 goals and 11 assists in 37 matches this season after registering 17 and 13 in 57 appearances in 2018-19.
Van de Beek has 10 caps for the Dutch, and has been atop the triangle of midfielders in Koeman’s 4-3-3. It could be a double pivot next to Paul Pogba, though the permutations of arranging Van de Beek, Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Fred, and Scott McTominay would be a daydream for most managers.