Donny van de Beek says Erik ten Hag has made an exciting blend of Manchester United signings – and is a “good mix” of a manager himself.
The United boss made six new additions this summer, with Antony coming in as the most expensive at £84million. Former Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro was also a costly addition at £70million.
Meanwhile, Christian Eriksen was a smart acquisition, the Premier League veteran signing on a free transfer.
For Netherlands midfielder Van de Beek, the additions of Casemiro, Eriksen and centre-back Lisandro Martinez are exciting ones.
Former Ajax man Van de Beek played with Martinez at the Eredivisie club and has watched Antony’s rise at the club from afar.
“Some of the players I played against – I played against Christian, against Casemiro as well, with Ajax,” the Dutchman said.
“Licha [Lisandro], I played together with him. So I know what they are capable of and they are really good players, so they will help us for sure.
“They are nice people, but they are also team players. I think this is important, to work hard together. As people, they fit very well with the players we have.”
The additions of Casemiro and Eriksen to Man Utd’s midfield have made game time chances harder for Van de Beek. In fact, he has only played 19 minutes of Premier League action in three appearances this season.
Furthermore, Scott McTominay, Fred and Bruno Fernandes all remain staples of the team. But despite Van de Beek sitting way down the pecking order, he is upbeat about his development.
Van de Beek positive about Man Utd
“That [a bigger squad] will help everyone,” the 25-year-old added in a United Review interview. “Having lots of options will keep everyone sharp, and for this we need lots of good players.
“I think it’s great to play many games, I love it when we play after a few days [another] game.
“I prefer more to have games than training sessions, so definitely I like it. That’s the way it should always be in a big club, and we need this to be successful and to have a strong team. I think it’s really good that we have it now.”
As for reuniting with Ten Hag, Van de Beek claimed his fellow Dutchman is a “good mix” for what United want in a manager.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” the midfielder said. “We had big success at Ajax at that time – the semi-final of the Champions League, and we won trophies. So it was a special time.
“Now we are here, with a new chapter and a new challenge, and of course we want to do the same here.”
Man Utd man continuing to struggle
Van de Beek may be upbeat following the arrival of Ten Hag and a host of new Man Utd signings, but he cannot be too happy.
The midfielder probably thought Ten Hag’s appointment was the best thing that could have happened for his United career.
For too long, Van de Beek has struggled for game time and when he has had the chance, he has often impressed.
Former Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faced criticism for not playing him enough. And in the Norwegian’s last game, the midfielder was a bright spark in a 4-1 defeat to Watford.
But, he is still not getting minutes despite Ten Hag’s arrival. His injury in pre-season did not help and he is still getting up to speed.
Off the basis of the first period of the season, though, Van de Beek has a lot to do to make something of his Old Trafford career.