Manchester United have secured the transfer of Donny van de Beek for £35m, with Real Madrid and Barcelona previously trying to sign the player.
Speaking to The Telegraaf, Van de Beek has spoken about why previous moves fell through, what it feels like to be a United player, and how Edwin van der Sar and Daley Blind encouraged him to make the move to Old Trafford.
You have no idea how happy I am that I finally got my transfer. Because as you knew, I had an agreement with Real Madrid, and so did the clubs, but for some reason it never went through. Players that were supposed to leave Real Madrid stayed, so they couldn’t sign me. I asked myself, will such an opportunity ever arrive again? But then there was Manchester United. A dream club for me, a fantastic club in the strongest league in the world. I didn’t need to think for 1 second when this opportunity arrived for me.
Last week I spoke to Solksjear. It was about private things, but also about football. He said he’s been following me for a very long while. He said he knew exactly what my biggest strengths are and told me that he wants me to be in and around the 16-box at Man United too. Edwin van der Sar and Daley Blind helped me too with my decision. They were very excited about Manchester United. They said it was not only a massive club, but also a very warm club. And so far this is exactly how I experienced the club. I am so excited to arrive there.
Van de Beek is excited to play for the same club that compatriots Edwin van der Sar, Robin van Persie, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Jaap Stam and Daley Blind played for, even though he is dating the daughter of Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp.
I will start at zero again at Manchester United. That might seem sad, but I love it. If you start down the ladder you can begin to climb up again. It’s now up to me to see how high I can reach. And I see this as a challenge. At the first half of the season I started to get really curious to playing in another country. I was longing for a new environment, new teammates, and a new competition. But I didn’t want to become weaker at Ajax. Because I wanted to say goodbye to this club in style.
The level that we reached as a team against Real Madrid, Juventus and Tottenham and sometimes even higher is needed if you want to play in the Premier League and to become a starting player at Manchester United. With a young and great team, in which I think I will fit great in, I hope to bring United back to the top and to bring them glory and trophies. I hope to walk into the footsteps of players like Van der Sar, Van Persie, Van Nistelrooy, Stam and Blind.
My father in law might have played for another club, but is a true legend in England and knows what the Premier League demands. He told me it’s extremely fun to play there, but also extremely tough. So I will start to prepare myself optimally for that.