Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has discussed the qualities of Donny van de Beek and recalled the first time he came up against Manchester United’s ‘brave’ new signing.
Van de Beek became United’s first signing of the summer transfer window after completing a £40m move from Ajax last week, the Netherlands international arriving with a promising reputation following his performances for the Amsterdam outfit.
The 23-year-old will bolster the club’s midfield ranks and Solskjaer has now opened up on his very first impression of the star, Van de Beek scoring his first Ajax goal with a brave header in a Europa League clash against the Norwegian’s Molde side five years ago.
“The first goal he scored was against me and my Molde team in the Europa League in 2015 – we drew 1-1 at the Amsterdam Arena and he scored a fantastic header,” Solskjaer told BBC’s the Football Daily podcast.
“He actually headbutted my centre-back at the time as well, so he was brave! I’ve liked his infectious attitude. I’ve spoken to Edwin van der Sar, other players that know him, you just use the people you know and trust to scout that character.
“When someone scores against you, you’ll always remember it…I just remember a cross and he beats my centre-back and it loops over our keeper in the beginning of the game.”
Solskjaer is confident that the Dutch arrival will complement the Red Devils’ current midfield options and believes Van de Beek is the right kind of profile for his developing squad, revealing his hopes that the summer signing can add energy and goals to the United side.
“When we signed Bruno [Fernandes] we knew we needed that kind of player, now we’ve signed Donny and he’s a type of player I felt we needed in the squad. He’s the type of person that will fit the culture, fit the team and improve us next season and for years to come,” Solskjaer said.
“He’s a versatile player, a very intelligent player, he’s got loads of energy, enthusiasm, developing all the time. He scores goals and we need to add those from midfield. We need goals throughout the squad because we didn’t score enough [last season] to be challenging at the top.
“He can see space and arrive at the right time, the timing of his movements is fantastic.”