September 27, 2021

Van de Beek wants to follow in the footsteps of Van Persie and Van Nistelrooy at Man Utd

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The midfielder is hoping to become the latest in a long line of Dutch stars at Old Trafford

New Manchester United signing Donny van de Beek has outlined his ambition to follow in the footsteps of Dutch stars Robin van Persie and Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Van de Beek became United’s first signing of the summer on Wednesday, joining from Ajax in a deal worth £35 million (€39m/$46m) plus £4m in add-ons.

The 23-year-old will look to emulate the success that Van Persie and Van Nistelrooy had at Old Trafford, with both players having won Premier League titles under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Speaking to Manchester United’s official website, Van de Beek recalled watching his countrymen star for United in the past.

“Yes, it’s a really big history. I watched a lot of their matches before and I also had a really good meeting with the coach [Ole Gunnar Solskjaer] and that for me was a really important thing,” the midfielder said.

“We talked about football things, about the club and I always make decisions about my feelings and my feelings were directly good with everything. That was for me an important thing.”

While Van Persie and Van Nistelrooy were known for scoring goals, another Dutch star, Edwin van der Sar, became a club legend keeping them out. 

Van der Sar is currently the chief executive officer at Ajax, and played a major part in brokering the deal between two of his former clubs.

“Yes, I talked with him and he told me a lot of stories about the club and about everything,” Van de Beek said of the former goalkeeper. “He told how big the club is and how nice an experience he had with it.”

Van de Beek believes he is primed for success at his new club, as his style of play will fit in with Solskjaer’s midfield unit.

“If you know me and the kind of football player I am, and my style and everything, then I think I can have a good combination with the club and the players also,” the Netherlands international said.

“If you look at the players the club has, they are young players, the same age like me and I cannot wait to play with them.

“I’m a midfielder that likes to go into the box – making runs, goals, assists. A lot of the time, I cover a lot of distance in games, this is also a thing that is a strength for me, to get into the box of the opponent.”