Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek has been linked with a move to Arsenal after a difficult first season in English football.
According to 90min.com, the Gunners have made contact with United over the future of the 24-year-old and have asked to be kept updated regarding his situation at the club.
Van de Beek was forced to withdraw from the Netherlands squad with an injury on the eve of the European Championships, topping off a hugely disappointing 2020/21 campaign.
Things didn’t quite go to plan for the Ajax academy graduate last season following his £40m move from Amsterdam to Old Trafford.
Despite arriving with high expectations, Van de Beek only made four Premier League starts for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in the recently concluded campaign, registering a solitary goal and assist in all competitions.
The Dutchman’s underwhelming displays have been enough for some people to write the midfield maestro’s United career off already, but doing so would be a potentially huge error.
Many of the English top-flight’s best foreign imports have taken 12 months to settle into their new surrounding and become accustomed to the unique demands of Premier League football. For example, Nicolas Pepe only scored eight goals last term following a £72m move to Arsenal but ended this term with 16 in all competitions.
The fast-paced, physical nature of the division is in sharp contrast to the technical Eredivisie, and therefore, Van de Beek shouldn’t be judged until he’s had a few more months at United to showcase his true ability and potential.
It’s easy to forget just how impressive the former Ajax ace was at the Johan Cruijff ArenA prior to his exit.
A return of 27 goals and 24 assists from his final two seasons in his homeland highlights Van de Beek’s quality, and he played a pivotal part in his boyhood club’s domestic double in 2018/19 when they also reached the Champions League semi-finals.
He managed to show glimpses of that form at the beginning of 2020/21, combining well with Juan Mata in a 3-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion in the EFL Cup back in August.
“He understands football in a way that I like, which is playing one-twos, passing and moving, and the goal was like that.”
There’s no reason why Van de Beek can’t get back to his old self at Old Trafford, and United will need significant strength in depth in order to compete for major honours next term.
Therefore, departing chief executive Ed Woodward would be heading for a sizeable mistake if he sanctioned the sale of the Red Devils ace to a domestic rival.