Why Donny van de Beek Is Not the Priority Signing for Man Utd This Summer

Robbie Walls
Donny van de Beek has been on Real Madrid's radar.
Donny van de Beek has been on Real Madrid's radar. / ANP Sport/Getty Images

As the timelines of many Manchester United fans' Twitter feeds continue to be filled with mindless transfer rumours, one name that has continued to be linked with a move to Old Trafford is Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek.

The Dutchman has been on the radar of a number of Europe's top clubs - including Real Madrid - after impressing in Holland over the last few seasons.

His eye-catching performances in last season's brilliant Champions League run for his side only served to add to the long list of admirers chasing his signature, with United seemingly hoping to be at the front of the queue - particularly due to their links with Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar.

While negotiations are not yet in full swing, the club are reportedly set to place a £36m bid for his services - according to Dutch outlet Voetbal International at least. Yet, for all his quality and undoubted potential, perhaps it would be best if the Red Devils put away their cheque book - for now at least.

As this drawn-out season nears a resumption, United will be hoping to pick up where they left off, having gone unbeaten in their previous 11 games before the abrupt halt to the football season.

However, for all the focus on the much anticipated return of live football, fans and media alike can not help but look ahead to what the summer transfer window may bring.

For United, their relatively turbulent season has seen a number of excellent results in the big fixtures, yet the side's inability to squash the so-called lesser sides has reinforced the need to make big money signatures.

The arrival of Bruno Fernandes in January has somewhat lifted the gloom surrounding the Theatre of Dreams, and was a further indication of an improved transfer policy after seasons of misguided signings post-Sir Alex Ferguson.

While van de Beek would no doubt fit the profile of a young hungry talent which Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can nurture and improve, perhaps the centre of midfield is not the first place to look regarding strengthening.

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With Paul Pogba returning to full fitness after a heavily disrupted season, the mouthwatering prospect of a Pogba-Fernandes partnership should be enough to quell the desire for midfield reinforcements. Add to that the excellent form of Fred and Scott McTominay this season - as well as the revival of Nemanja Matic - and all seems positive for United's midfield.

This of course does not mean that the club won't need to strengthen its midfield in the coming seasons, but with a potentially COVID-19 impacted window on the horizon, funds will need to be spent wisely in order to strengthen weaker areas.

Although there can be no getting away from United's often poor results so far this season - and while there should be no complacency after a slight upturn in form - there is reason to be optimistic for the Old Trafford faithful.

With midfield perhaps the strongest its been for a number of seasons, the club most turn its attention to the top end of the pitch, with the side crying out for further attacking options - in the form of Kai Havertz or Jadon Sancho.

Despite the rise of starlet Mason Greenwood and the rapid Daniel James, the right side of attack has often been an issue this season - with inconsistent Andreas Pereira often having to step in as cover.

Add to that the over-reliance of Marcus Rashford on the left-flank - who was sorely missed following his injury - and it becomes clear that the right wing position must be filled.

Anthony Martial has scored 11 Premier League goals this season.
Anthony Martial has scored 11 Premier League goals this season. / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Equally, despite the signing of Odion Ighalo on-loan until January, the often frustrating form of Anthony Martial has perhaps opened the door for a new face upfront.

With reinforcements needed elsewhere - and with no obvious pathway into the starting XI - perhaps the club should refrain from moving for van de Beek, for his sake and the club's.

As for the Dutch international, potential destinations are perhaps beginning to run out. Real Madrid, who were favourites to land him at one point, are now being more conservative with their summer spend, and have already pulled out of the race to sign him. That, for Van de Beek, could - and perhaps should - leave him staring down the barrel of another year in Amsterdam.