What Dennis Bergkamp and other Dutch greats think of Donny van de Beek

The Ajax midfielder is set for a move to Manchester United and luminaries of Ajax and the Netherlands have discussed his talent

1:00pm on Wednesday 2nd September 2020
Martin Macdonald

Donny van de Beek is expected to complete a £40m move to Manchester United this week after Ajax agreed to his sale.

United fans have been speculating over what kind of player they are signing; not quite a holding midfielder, not quite an all-out attacker but definitely an all-out excellent talent.

And many of his current team-mates and former Netherlands internationals have been passing comment on Van de Beek, how far he can go in the game, and how he has pushed himself to move to the next level in the past two years.

Team-mate Dusan Tadic referred to his physical development, saying: “Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong and Donny van de Beek have made an enormous amount of progress, but Donny has surprised me the most.

“He started to live even more for football. Donny likes to listen to the older players, he has started to pay more attention to his diet and to train harder in the gym.”

Frank de Boer also refers to a conversation he had with the great Dennis Bergkamp, who was thrilled with the player Van de beek had become.

He said: "Dennis started talking enthusiastically about a talent in his youth team.

"It was a boy who reminded Dennis of himself at that age. That was the signal for me to keep an eye on that guy. That was Donny."

Respected youth team coach Bryan Roy also spoke of his specific impact on matches, stating: “Physically he has always been devastating, since he knows how to attack and defend with the same skill.

“He was very shy but already smart on the playing field. He is a total footballer, offensive runs are one of his great specialities.”

Perhaps most interesting were the words of former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino - who may yet end up as Van de Beek's boss at Old Trafford at some point in the future.

He said that the player with most nuance within the Ajax team was Van de Beek, saying: "Logically, I love De Jong and De Ligt. But the example of the operation of this Ajax is Van de Beek.

"I like [him] very much. They have a young player, from the academy, in each line, that shows what the team is.”

Van de Beek had been linked with Barcelona and Real Madrid in the past, but his move to Old Trafford is all but complete.

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