Manchester United legendary goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar has explained what fans can expect to see from new signing midfielder Donny van de Beek. Ahead of United’s new 2020-21 season, Van der Sar has remarkably claimed that the former Ajax midfielder can do more or less every central role asked of him.
van de Beek, 23, joined Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side earlier this summer after his £39m move from Ajax was finalised, as per Sky Sports.
The talented midfielder will undoubtedly add another element of quality to United’s squad depth but make no mistakes, the 23-year-old isn’t here just to make up the numbers.
Van der Sar, now retired and working as Ajax’s CEO played a pivotal role in bringing his young compatriot to Old Trafford during a deal which saw the legendary keeper share a heart-warming open letter to United fans.
Van Der Sar’s open letter to United fans after the signing of Van De Beek. pic.twitter.com/oFAZR266D2
— Man Utd Stuff (@ManUtdStuff) September 3, 2020
Ahead of the Red’s new season which is scheduled to kick-off on Saturday against Crystal Palace, Van der Sar has explained what United fans can expect to see from their exciting new-signing, speaking exclusively to ManUtd.com, the Dutchman said: “He can play in different positions in midfield – he can be a six or an eight or a 10, he has a great eye for a goal. His technique is brilliant, he can go box to box.
“I’d compare him a little bit to Scholesy, although Scholesy had a cracker of a shot from 30/40 yards out and that’s not Donny’s strength, but he likes to come into the box and chip in with goals.
“Maybe it’s unfair to compare him to Scholesy actually, but he’s a good lad and I’m sure he’ll be a great addition to the team that Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] is creating for United.
“I presume he’s had a talk with Ole and they’ve talked about different positions [he can play]. He’s multi-functional, he can play a little bit deeper which I think is his preferred role.
“Of course, we know United already have a couple of great midfield players there so he will find his way in the team and also with the amount of games that top clubs need to play this year in the Premier League and Champions League and the cup matches, everything is quite intense so you need a good, wide squad and I think the midfield looks okay at the moment for United.
“He grew through the system at Ajax.
“Ajax is in his heart – you maybe saw an image of him as a ballboy at a Champions League match.
“For our players you work hard for five or six years in the Academy and you try to get your chance and the moment he got it, he took it and he became an important member of our team, scoring amazing goals and he was extremely popular with the fans.
“Unfortunately we only got to do a send-off with 100 fans after the international match he played with Holland recently. Normally we like to say a big farewell to our players.
“We know that Ajax is a club that develops young players, it’s very similar to United.
“I saw that in my six years there and you had players like Gary [Neville] and Ryan [Giggs], and now you have Mason [Greenwood], [Marcus] Rashford, [Scott] McTominay, [Brandon] Williams…
“United is also a club that gives chances to young players and of course you guys have the financial power to really get players to a high level.
“Our league is not as strong as the top five leagues and that’s why we’re in the position that after two or three years when a player gives their all to the club, wins trophies, scores goals, at a certain point we allow the player to take the next step.
“I think we work in good faith with the player, the agent and the family to find the right club and the right path to develop yourself and get to a high level. At a certain point that level is so high that other clubs would like the services of the player, that’s the way we operate in Holland.
“For us we lose our best players and somehow from the middle and bottom we need to grow again.
“You guys can replace a player with a top player, that’s the difference between United and Ajax.
Of course, it’s a good thing that we, let’s say, ‘lose’ players because we can give a chance to younger players who are maybe getting anxious wanting playing time and wondering where they fit in.
“So in that way we can keep the system rolling in my view, but the main thing is also our aim in Europe.
“Of course I’d rather keep Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, Donny van de Beek and Hakim Ziyech as that would probably bring us more success in Europe, but for their development then they take the next step to a big European competition, and that only gives credit to our coaches, the Youth Academy and the people who invest a lot of time in making the players better.
“Also for the fans they want to have their heroes, but they’re also looking for new heroes and that’s the challenge that we have at Ajax.”