Why is Van de Beek joining United instead of waiting at Ajax?

Date published: Monday 31st August 2020 8:48 - Matthew Stead

Donny van de Beek Ajax Man Utd

Send your extensive thoughts on Donny van de Beek to theeditor@football365.com.


Here’s Donny
I genuinely do not mean this as an insult to Man United but I’m genuinely interested in the mind of a footballer (or his agent??).

Pre pandemic Van De Beek could’ve chosen Real Madrid (challenge for everything) or Barça (kinda challenge for everything and play with your old teammate) or Man City (as per Madrid). Now post pandemic it looks like he’ll go to United as they’re the only team that will pay the fee that Ajax want. My question is United won’t be challenging for anything in the next couple of years so why would you go there instead of staying at Ajax for another year on the chance that the worldwide situation improves in 12 months and you get your move to Madrid then??

Again, not having a go at United but just trying to understand the logic of a young man/his agent who if they wait a year would move to a club ready to challenge rather that sign a 4/5 year deal with a club that has zero certainty to be challenging anytime soon?


They need more
Manchester United’s strategy to focus on 1-2 signings each window and working with the squad, or waiting if they don’t get those, was a direct response to all the bad signings and deadwood accumulated over the years.

Ole has done a good job moving the deadwood and the strategy seemed to be working in a pre covid world with almost all of signings being somewhat successful.

Squads have also looked to have two good options in each position. However, this season that might be essential for any team with title aspirations.

Any player could test positive for Covid19 and be out of the squad for two weeks , which also means two weeks of no training so it’ll take them another week to get back up to speed.

If we cannot get our number one targets, Manchester United should look at loan signings to bolster the squad for this season atleast.

Daniel James is not the answer and Greenwood is a teenager. We need a right sided attacker, ideally someone who can also play striker.

Donny Van de Beek means we have options in midfield. Another attacking midfielder wouldn’t hurt but Fernandes is pretty much irreplaceable so anyone we get will be a downgrade.

Another CB. If Lindelof is first choice then Smalling can provide cover but if Lindelof is not going to be first choice then we need a first choice CB and Smalling can move.

Jones can stay for the kicks. No idea how Rojo is still at the club.

We don’t have adequate back up on full back either. A Lb option is a priority.

So if United is to compete this season, we need need a right side attacking player, a first choice center back and a full back.

An attacking mid fielder would be a plus.

Arsenal look good under Arteta, Mourinho will have his first full year at Spurs and Chelsea have spent the Bank. Even the Everton squad looks good.

We need 2 more signings just to stay in the top 4. We are 2 injuries and 2 positive cases away from playing a team that would be relegated.
Shehzad Ghias, mufc, Karachi 


I think Badwolf gets a c- for his basic maths. The implication is that Utd should spend £185m on Sancho and Grealish as there is £168m of total prize money up for grabs, as if they receive no monies from these competitions today. In other words, the investment in these two players would be almost completely offset by winning those competitions.

In the most recent season, Liverpool, as PL champions received £153m in prize money, while Utd in 3rd place received £151m. In reality then, Utd would be spending £185m to win an additional £2m in PL funds. But to be fair, you might say these would be paid over 5 years. So now we have £37m spent to win £2m.

And we haven’t begun to take into account their salaries. If we assume Grealish and Sancho get £100,000 per week (and the likelihood is Sancho would be pushing for way more) that would equate to a further £10m spend a year.

So a total of £47m to win £2m.

Of course you could say other players would be sold to make up the difference or there might be some sell on value at the end of their contracts, etc. But they may run down their contract, more common today. And if they did win the EPL you can sure bet there would be several million £ in win bonuses that would be paid out to the two players.

Paul McDevitt


Interesting email from Badwolf pointing out that the winners of the premier league win £150m in prize money and therefore if Man Utd go big in the transfer market and become contenders for that first spot it would be money well invested.

However, the real basic maths is that in the 2018/19 season the champions Man City won £151m whilst 6th place Man Utd still took home £143m in prize money. Based on finances alone why invest upwards of £150m in new players just to make an extra £8m? Of course the real value of winning the league is that your club as a whole becomes more marketable to sponsors and that’s where the real money lies. But the reality is that United are already a global brand who will continue to attract sponsors even when they finish outside the top four.

When your club is run by a family who are far more interested in profits than success, then a lack of serious investment in the transfer window will continue to be the norm.
Andy Flint 


Own Brand
I come in peace. DD, MUFC, Liverpool fair play for responding to my mockery in such an eloquent and well thought out manner.

I respect your opinions on young Brandon’s ability, some of which I agree with. Let it also be said that your claims aren’t without foundation, another rather good full back who became a rather good midfielder would be no less than Phillip Lahm.

However in regards to your points on Brandon’s attacking output, I believe he is hampered by one thing here, and that’s actually the side of the pitch he’s playing on. Whilst overall he’s done incredibly well on the left side of the pitch in his first season, it mustn’t go unnoticed that his favoured foot is his right. Many attacking players prefer to play on the opposite side as they can cut in and shoot, Arjen Robben being the best example. However, I dare say shooting is one of Brandon’s strong points (although he did score an excellent goal at Sheffield United) and the expectation of an attacking full back these days is to lay the ball off to better placed attacking players (Trent Alexander-Arnold aside), especially in United’s style of play.

Whilst I will also admit that there are examples of very good full backs playing on the wrong side, Denis Irwin being the one that springs to mind as a United fan, I dont see Brandon using his left anywhere near enough to believe that he is as truly two footed as he needs to be to succeed on this side of the pitch. If he was more confident with his left, I would suggest his attacking output would be higher.

So whilst you make some very good points as to why he might make a decent midfielder, I personally would like to see him have a go at playing full back on his stronger side before we go shunting him to other parts of the pitch. Now that’s not to say Aaron Wan-Bissaka needs replacing. I wish not to write him off after one season, but Brandon would be a much better back up (whilst he’s developing) than Timothy Fosu-Mensa, on that I hope we can both agree.

Besides, in your dream midfield for next season you seem to have forgotten about a certain Paul Pogba. He was the best player on the park in our last match, seems to have a renewed desire for playing for United since his return from injury, and if you can coax it out of him more often, is one of the best in his position in the world. Get him signed up to a new contract, put him alongside Fernandes and A. Nother more defensively minded midfielder, not named Matic (prone to lapses in concentration and legs have mostly gone) or Fred (brilliant and awful on a 5 minute rotation whenever he plays) and we might just have a fully functional midfield, without the need to plant young full backs in there. Both of the aforementioned players, and McTominay are adequate back ups, although my guess is the arrival of A. Nother will see one of them sold (Fred).

So in conclusion, fair points, well made, apologies for the mockery, but let’s see what he can do on his stronger side first before we convert him into the next Keane, Bale, Lahm….Phil Neville etc.
Mark Danger Endicott, MUFC 


Tottenham being weird
Dear F365,

The more 2020 unfolds, frankly, the weirder it gets.  It’s like everything is either upside down, inside out or back to front.  The impossible isn’t only probable, but happening.

Ignoring ‘the world’ for a second, in football we have the very weird scenario of a fax being sent by the greatest player ever telling the club he’s been at since 1922 he’s off.  And I thought being dumped by text was bad.  But that isn’t even the half of it.  What has me most weirded out is Tottenham:

– Signing players in positions they need
– Signing players in positions they need that are actually better than the ones they already had
– Signing these players quickly
– Signing these players at a fair price without 97 rounds of abrasive ‘Levyism’

If they end up with decent back-up/competition for Kane and move on a couple of the ne’er do wells, the universe may well be warped forever.

Trust no one.
Dr Oyvind, Earth


Messy or Messiah?
Am I missing something?

Everywhere I read about Messi, may it be on F365 articles, the Mailbox or other football websites, a common theme is that any club should distance themselves from Messi for financial reasons.

I don’t get it. Messi is one of the two best players of this generation. He is a name known in every corner of the football world. I can’t help but wonder, wouldn’t this deal pay for itself and more in terms of shirt sales, social media profile explosion, crazy advertising revenues,  ridiculously enhanced sponsorships etc.?

Think of Man Utd, one of the biggest football brands, even they have only Pogba who registers a mention in the world football. Rashford, Martial or even Bruno Fernandes, as good as they have been for the team, Messi’s profile will amplify their reach to stratospheric levels.

If Leo can have that impact on an already top global brand (emphasis on brand in business sense, not team in sporting sense, obviously), then he can simply transform the reach and marketability of any other club resulting in marketing opportunities beyond imagination.

Besides, he is pretty good at the whole football thing, y’know. It’s not like De Bruyne, Salah or Mane don’t have their off days.

I can partly understand the team cohesion reasons but it is Lionel f**king Messi at your club. I don’t think anyone would mind that much learning from him or playing backup/rotation with him for a year or two specially in the times when managers keep moaning about fixture congestion.

TL;DR: Sign him up but don’t announce the signing with him playing a piano.
The Vocal Minority


Is anybody struggling with this Messi saga as I am? The entire club seems to placate him, he is consulted about every move the club makes. The only move I can think of where he had little influence was the Neymar deal, where Neymar himself said he wanted out.

He is not just the best paid, he is captain and part of the board. So he is not just part of the club, he seems to be the club. But they loose 8-2, and he then decides to leave? He was on the field when they lost. Infact, 2 of his mistakes caused 2 goals. Instead of staying and fixing the problem he is a part of, he chooses to leave.

I hope he goes to Man City, because ffp should have a field day with this one. First of all nobody is flying, airlines are bleeding money, so how the hell can an airline afford to invest this much on a football player?

If they can’t make this case, they should just close up shop. He will probably get a statue from the new president,  but to leave the club when it seems to be on its knees, and he is part reason why, seems a tad unusual. Everybody seems to be saying the president is the reason, when all I have read was that Messi was part of the decision making, also Barca are the second most paying team ever. Is it a prisoner situation,  maybe, but the prisoner here was very happy to sign that contract.

With Ronaldo, a multi team sensation,  we got Messi, 1 team sensation,  if he breaks mould, does he then become a money grabbing merchant? He is the best paid player in the world, and unless he takes a massive paycut, man city will break English records for him. I’d like it to happen, it’s a case of give them enough rope and they hang themselves scenario, De Bruyne’s agent will be on phone demanding parity within a year, and so will Sterling’s agent.
Dave(Hope my Ronaldo love wasn’t apparent there), Somewhere


At the beginning of the last season, prior to Covid catastrophe, My brother in law , a Tottenham Fan and also ex manager of  Marlow town FC when they played Tottenham in the FA cup, insisted that I was lying when I said I would never swap Auba for Kane.

Got me thinking if you had to trade your best player for another premier league player who would it be ?
Sandra Smith  (ONLY Spurs player I would take would be SON, but not sure if I’d let Laca go the other way)

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