New Man Utd signing Donny van de Beek has revealed that former Ajax youth team-mate Steven Bergwijn wanted him at Tottenham.
The 23-year-old, who became the Red Devils’ first signing of the summer last week after joining from Ajax in a deal worth a reported £40m, plays with Bergwijn at international level for the Netherlands.
The Dutchman will be the 20th Van man in Premier League history and joins an already strong midfield at Old Trafford, which both he and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer referenced upon his arrival.
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And Van de Beek has said how Bergwijn – who moved to Spurs in January from PSV – was keen to link up with him at Tottenham this summer.
“I have to say that he just sent me a message: ‘Are you coming to us or not?’” said Van de Beek. “We often have contact. We used to play together at Ajax for a long time and have actually always kept in touch.
“I think we will see each other again soon. But I chose to join United. It’s a fantastic step, and I think now is the right time.”
Meanwhile, his former youth coach at Ajax, Ruben Jongkind thinks Van de Beek did the right thing by choosing to join Man Utd amid interest from Real Madrid.
“He will be challenged, the average age in the Premier League is probably around 26 or 27, but I think he has shown in European campaigns that he has enough skills to play at the highest level,” Jongkind told the Manchester Evening News.
“He likes a challenge and he has this mindset that he wants to go further every time. I think this is a better time than, for example, [Justin] Kluivert to Roma, that was too early.
“It is also a good club to move to. United have a history of bringing in youth players, I think it’s a great choice, much better than Real Madrid, I think that would have been a disaster. The playing style is more akin to Donny at United than Real Madrid as well.”
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