New Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag will be reunited with compatriot Donny van de Beek this summer when the midfielder returns from his loan spell at Everton
Erik Ten Hag had declared he is “looking forward” to working with Donny van de Beek at Manchester United next season in a promising message to his fellow Dutchman.
Van de Beek thrived under Ten Hag at Ajax before joining the Red Devils in September 2020. He made 175 appearances for the Dutch giants, helping them win the Eredivisie title and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019.
Ajax beat Real Madrid and Bayern Munich en route to the last four of Europe’s elite competition before they were defeated over two legs by Tottenham. Van de Beek was key to that eye-catching run and earned himself a big-money switch to Old Trafford a year later, costing an initial £34million.
However, it has not quite worked out as well as Van de Beek would have been hoping for. He has struggled to cement a regular spot in the United starting XI and was shipped out on loan to Everton in January.
He has also failed to make a name for himself at the Toffees, featuring just seven times and scoring his only goal on the final day of the season against Arsenal. Van de Beek is now set to return to United and will hope to revive his faltering career under Ten Hag, who has signed a three-year contract with the Red Devils.
In his first press conference as United’s new boss, Ten Hag was asked about whether he was looking forward to working with Van de Beek again. “Yes, of course,” the Red Devils manager replied. “We had fantastic squad in that time at Ajax. I really had a good relationship with him. Of course I am looking forward to meeting him again on the pitch.”
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United finished the 2021/22 season with their lowest-ever Premier League total, having accumulated just 58 points from 38 games. There is no doubt Ten Hag must improve United heading into next season, and he outlined what he must to do impress the United faithful.
He added: “First of all, we want to make the fans proud. Second, of course we are in this moment, the current situation is obviously not that good. It’s a big challenge. I want to build and construct a team who are battling for each other, who are unified and who will get results.
“Also we are playing in the Theatre of Dreams. We want to entertain. But in the end, the intention is to play fantastic football. If we can’t play fantastic football, we still have to win.”