Donny Van De Beek: Three Potential Clubs Next Window
Manchester United have undoubtedly savoured a refreshing start to the 2021/22 Premier League. Despite an excruciating loss against Young Boys in their opening UEFA Champions League tie last week, the Red Devils’ ensured they regain their momentum following an eventful victory against West Ham in the Premier League over the weekend. Nevertheless, while United comfortably sit tied on points with leaders Chelsea in the Premier League and the fan-base are undeniably in healthy spirits, not much has changed for the Red Devils’ marquee signing from last summer, Donny Van De Beek.
The Dutchman undertook a career-stepping move to United from Ajax last summer, but, to everyone’s bewilderment, has failed to make a name for himself at his new club. Van De Beek has continually struggled for game-time, over the past year, under Ole Gunnar Solsjaer, thus, failing to rise up the ranks and cement his place in the first-team side. As per reports, the Dutchman was close to joining Everton on loan this summer but was denied a move to the Merseyside club, courtesy of Solsjaer’s decision to block the transfer on deadline day.
However, since then, the player has, yet again, struggled to gain first-team minutes. Van De Beek registered his first start of the season against Young Boys last week but was substituted at half-time for Raphael Varane during the eventful night in Switzerland. Since he arrived at the club, the Dutchman has lost his place in the international side and has seemingly been out of contention under the manager.
Now, with things unlikely to improve and both, the player’s agent and the player himself, having expressed the desire to seek regular football, Van De Beek could be on the move as early as January, in the winter transfer window. Below, we examine the clubs where the midfielder could revive his career and seek regular minutes in a new environment.
Everton (Premier League, England)
Having already agreed on a move with the player, only for it to be denied by United on deadline day, Everton could, once again, pounce on the opportunity to sign Van De Beek on loan in January. With both, Gylfi Sigurdsson and James Rodriguez out of contention this season, the Dutchman is likely to be a guaranteed starter as an attacking midfielder under Rafa Benitez. In addition, the Merseyside club also serves as a promising prospect, given their ambition and footballing philosophy under the new manager.
In a team lacking a creative playmaker in the attacking third, the Dutchman is the final piece in completing an enthralling forward line at Everton. Van De Beek’s ability to support the attack, be disciplined without possession, and successfully retain the ball and hold possession could prove to be remarkable attributes in an otherwise cautiously attacking Everton system.
Under Rafa Benitez, Van De Beek will be under the guidance of an experienced manager who will certainly develop his overall game. Additionally, with the indispensable game-time and the potential opportunities at Everton, the Merseyside club could prove to be the Dutchman’s way back into his national side.
Juventus (Serie A, Italy)
Earlier this summer, reports suggested that the Dutchman could potentially move to Juventus in a swap deal initiated by Manchester United, which would see Adrien Rabiot arrive at Old Trafford. However, both, Rabiot and Van De Beek remain at their parent club, though, the Serie A giants could express an interest in the midfielder if an opportunity arises next summer.
Having had an underwhelming start to the 2021/22 Serie A campaign, the Turin club are yet to win a game and currently languish in the relegation zone of the league table. With the lack of a creative midfielder and an ageing Aaron Ramsay within their ranks, Van De Beek could offer a solution to Massimiliano Allegri’s problems in the midfield. In Manuel Locatelli, Weston McKennie, and Adrien Rabiot, the club have a proven pack of midfielders, however, given his attributes and versatility, Van De Beek could add dynamism in midfield.
The Dutchman’s keen eye for a pass, exceptional positional sense and ability to keep possession in tight areas of the pitch could bring a much-needed dynamic to Juventus’ midfield. Van De Beek serves as a perfect replacement for Aaron Ramsey and could thrive in multiple roles at Juventus. Provided the opportunity arises, it remains an intriguing affair if the Turin club attempt to re-sign Paul Pogba or seek to lure his much more financially favourable teammate, Van De Beek, in the coming transfer windows.
Barcelona (La Liga, Spain)
Although in financial turmoil ahead of this season, the Blaugrana still showed ambition in the transfer market. Barcelona pounced on the favourable opportunities in the transfer market, having acquired the services of Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero on a free transfer and Luuk De Jong on a season-long loan. However, for all their attacking talent, with an ageing Sergio Busquets and Frenkie De Jong, and Pedri being the only other proven regulars within the starting line-up, Van De Beek could add to their depth and be part of the club’s revival as a European giant in the coming years.
With Ronald Koeman at the helm, Van De Beek would certainly favour the Dutch manager and perform to his best when the opportunities arise. The midfielder’s attributes on the ball and without possession make him a tailored-made prospect for Barcelona’s philosophy on the pitch while his experience and professionalism would bring the much-needed experience in the midfield department for years to come. In addition, the prospect of playing alongside his international teammate in Frenkie De Jong could be an appealing aspect provided Barcelona express their interest in the player.
Nevertheless, given his current predicament at Manchester United, Van De Beek seems the likeliest player to leave the club in the coming transfer window. While a turnaround could be on the cards, the manager’s repeated reluctance to provide the midfielder with indispensable game-time could eventually see the Dutchman find a solution in the market at the earliest.