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Will Ajax be able to retain the services of Donny Van de Beek this summer?

Donny Van de Beek’s future had been the subject of transfer talk about since his breakout campaign last season, and this summer could be when he leaves his boyhood club Ajax. Van de Beek rose through the ranks of the Ajax youth system and made his debut for the Amsterdam club in November 2015 during a UEFA Europa League encounter with Celtic. Van de Beek has received education in the philosophies and methodologies of the Ajax system and is now a crucial figure of their first team as the Captain.

Van de Beek announced himself onto the European scene as part of the exciting youthful Ajax side that reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals last season. He was on the scoresheet in the quarter-final second leg win over Juventus, and both ties in the semi-final defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. Van de Beek’s performances have made him a transfer target for some of the top clubs across Europe with the likes of Man United and Real Madrid reportedly in contention to sign the Dutchman.


Where could he go?

Manchester United are in the transfer market to strengthen their midfield, and they are keen admirers of the Dutch midfield maestro Van de Beek in the summer transfer window. Man United consider Van de Beek as a potential replacement for Paul Pogba should he leave. Van De Beek is a talented box to box midfielder. A possible move to Old Trafford could raise concerns over the future of Paul Pogba. Van de Beek fits the profile of players that Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to add his squad. The Man Utd boss is currently in search of hungry and talented youth players as part of his rebuilding project at the club. As such, Van De Beek is one of the primary targets this summer. His style of play perfectly suits Man United as he can make the difference in both defensive and attacking roles. Despite his talent, there is a section of Man United fans who have doubts about which position Van de Beek fits in if Pogba remains at the club come next season. However, Van De Beek is a type of player that can settle well in the team even if Paul Pogba stays. In comparison to Pogba and Fernandes, Van De Beek’s style of play is different.

Therefore, the three of them forming a midfield trio could be deadly for their opponents. Should Solskjaer sign him this summer, his versatility in midfield will make him a crucial squad player no matter where he plays? He would bring the necessary depth and healthy competition to the squad. He also possesses something that every team competing for titles needs to have. Real Madrid could also be the right fit for the Dutchman this summer. However, there is a question of age in the heart of Real Madrid’s midfield. Casemiro is 28, Kroos is 30, and Modric is 34.  Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is also on the lookout for a midfielder to replace Modric and Van De Beek is high on his transfer wishlist.

Van de Beek has the tools to make a lot of impact on the ball. His efficiency in the defensive department of his game also makes him a formidable fit. His creativity and passing style will suit Real Madrid’s organized pressing unit.


What makes him so unique?

Van de Beek can play in any midfield position, a trait that will only increase his value. He is a goal-scoring central midfielder with sound technique and impressive vision. Van De Beek is also an exceptional technical midfielder who can pass the ball very well. He can also switch play with impressive cross-field balls on the attack. His forward movement and space seeking quality always occupy the attention of the opposition when he doesn’t have the ball. His intelligent movement also creates openings for teammates. On the pitch, Van de Beek creates 2.08 chances per 90 minutes as well as completing 24.82 passes in the opposition’s half with perfect vision and spatial awareness


What’s next for Van De Beek?

Van De Beek’s contract expires in 2022, and Ajax will face a battle to keep hold of him once again. However, this summer transfer window could see Ajax lose their talismanic Captain. Ajax chief executive Edwin Van der Sar has publicly confirmed in recent weeks that the midfielder will only leave the club if they get the right offer they want.

Van De Beek is an exceptional talent whose performances have earned him admiration from Dutch football legend Dennis Bergkamp. If Van De Beek leaves Ajax this summer to either Man United, Real Madrid, or any top sides in Europe, it will be a massive step for his blossoming footballing career.


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