Confirmation of Donny van de Beek’s transfer to Manchester United from Ajax provided United with further cause for optimism ahead of their return to the Champions League. That he was 23 at the point his transfer was confirmed also meant that, alongside Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had added another youthful figure to an already young and exciting team.
During Solskjaer’s time as a player at Old Trafford he witnessed, like Van de Beek, Netherlands internationals Jaap Stam, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Edwin van der Sar all make significant impressions. Robin van Persie soon followed, before Daley Blind, one of Van de Beek’s teammates at Ajax, also impressed in Manchester under the management of Louis van Gaal. Perhaps above all else, his arrival represented further evidence of United’s desire to remain committed to the nature of transfer policy that once brought them such success.