The decision by new Barcelona manager Xavi not to try and sign Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek has opened the door for Everton in January.
Van de Beek, 24, arrived at Old Trafford to much fanfare in August 2020. The Red Devils paid Ajax a reported £35 million plus £5 million in add-ons for the Netherlands international. But it has been a disappointing and frustrating spell for the talented schemer.
He was a regular starter for Ajax, being given the nod 83 times across his last three seasons with the Eredivisie giants. However it has been a different story in Manchester, with only four league starts last term.
The Amersfoort-born ace made 19 top-flight appetences in total with nine more in Europe. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to leave him on the peripheries in 2021-2022.
The Dutchman has enjoyed just 59 minutes in the Premier League. He has also seen limited action in the Champions League while playing once in the EFL Cup.
Solskjaer has now departed and it remains to be seen if Van de Beek is given an opportunity in the coming weeks. More likely is a winter exit, either on loan or on a permanent basis.
Everton move for Van de Beek ‘makes sense’
Everton were linked last summer and it seemed as though he might move to Goodison Park. However United are said to have blocked the move and he remained at the Theatre of Dreams.
That situation looks set to change in the new year and many clubs have been linked with the player. Barcelona were one and Spanish outlet Sport suggested that Xavi was given the chance to sign him.
The chance to play at the Nou Camp is one that few players turn down. But it appears as though the new Barca boss has rejected the opportunity to make a move as he already has enough midfielders.
Newcastle United, Juventus and Wolves have also been linked to the man with with 19 Netherlands caps.
Everton boss Rafa Benitez made a bright start to his tenure but things have begun to unravel. The Merseysiders have slipped to 11th in the table after four defeats and two draws in their last six outings.
Things need to change and former Premier League goalkeeper Paddy Kenny sees the possible signing of Van de Beek as a positive move for both parties .
“Well that makes sense, doesn’t it?” he told Football Insider. “Van de Beek hasn’t been getting a game and he’s a young player who will be wanting to play football.”
“If you have the chance to go to Everton, where you can get first-team football, why not?”