Donny’s Dutch courage! Van de Beek reveals Man United’s Holland stars Van Persie, Van der Sar and Blind inspired him to move to Old Trafford as £35m man prepares for his Premier League debut
Donny van de Beek fell in love with Manchester United after watching Dutch stars such as Edwin van der Sar, Robin van Persie and Daley Blind – with the £35million midfielder relishing his Old Trafford debut.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could hand the 23-year-old his first competitive appearance in this Saturday’s Premier League opener against Crystal Palace.
United fans were left in awe at Van de Beek’s skillful footwork during his first outing for the club – a friendly against Aston Villa last weekend – and the new arrival from Ajax is desperate to show what he can do.
New Manchester United signing Donny van de Beek has revealed how watching Dutch players at the club as a youngster inspired him to come to Old Trafford
The £35million signing from Ajax made his debut in Saturday’s friendly against Aston Villa
He told Inside United magazine: ‘I watched United a lot [when I was younger]. Because a lot of Dutch players have played here and this was nice to watch if you’re a young kid and you see Dutch players there.
‘Daley, Edwin, Robin van Persie… you see them. They won a lot of titles and United always played nice football, which was always good to see.’
Goalkeeper Van der Sar was United’s No 1 between 2005 and 2011, helping the team win four Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2008.
Edwin van der Sar was United’s goalkeeper for six seasons between 2005 and 2011
Dutch striker Robin van Persie helped deliver United’s last Premier League title in 2012-13
Midfielder Daley Blind made 141 appearances for the club over the course of four seasons
Striker Van Persie joined the Old Trafford club ahead of Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season as manager and scored 26 goals as they won the Premier League.
Midfielder Blind arrived during Dutch manager Louis van Gaal’s tenure – also from Ajax – and made 141 appearances for the club over four seasons.
Van de Beek can’t wait to play at Old Trafford but admits it won’t be the same without the fans present.
Van de Beek is welcomed to United by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left) and captain Harry Maguire (right) after completing his move from Ajax
He added: ‘Old Trafford is an amazing stadium. The nicest thing will be when the fans are there too and I cannot wait to play for the first time in front of them.
‘I hope to see them soon in the stadium because for our team they will give us a lot of power when we can have them with us.
‘It’s a family club, I feel this already from the first seconds I have been here.’