Donny Van de Beek’s key attributes that could save Newcastle United and midfielder’s season
Donny Van de Beek’s career is at a crossroads at Manchester United and Newcastle could offer him a lifeline.
The Magpies have been offered the midfielder on loan for the rest of the season, according to the latest reports.
The Dutch international has not started a game so far this campaign and has struggled to make an impact since his £40million move from Ajax in 2020.
Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal has left the 24-year-old from each of his previous three squads and, with a World Cup at the end of the year, Van de Beek is desperate for game time.
The Magpies have been repeatedly linked with the former Ajax schemer and he would bring important attributes that are missing from the current Newcastle squad.
His spell at Old Trafford has been hard to find positives from, so you need look further back in his career at de Godenzonen for a better view of his attributes.
Van de Beek was often utilised in a midfield three at Johan Cruijff ArenA in an advanced playmaker role, but also played in the 10 role – a similar set-up to Eddie Howe’s Newcastle.
His ability to find pockets of space behind lines was a key part in Ajax’s Champions League success, with his intelligent runs causing havoc for the opposition.
The former Ajax technician scored ten goals from midfield in the 2019/20 season, arriving late into the area with blindsided runs.
Newcastle are missing that late arrival into the box from midfield, with Callum Wilson the main source of goals this season.
Chris Wood’s arrival will go some way in replacing that threat, but the Toon need plenty of different options.
The Magpies also need to improve both in and out of possession.
Howe’s side have spent a lot of the season without the ball but the arrival of Van de Beek would be a massive bonus.
His ability to keep the ball under pressure was another highlight of Ajax’s run to the Champions League semi-final.
Without the ball, Van de Beek showed great ability to protect the half spaces in between lines while also competent with man for man marking.
Needless to say, the Dutch international would be a massive improvement on the current midfield options available to Howe – with the Toon boss in the market for a central midfielder in January.