It didn’t take long for Manchester United twitter to catch hold of Saturday Night’s reports that United were in the race to sign Ajax midfielder Donny Van De Beek and then literally run with it. Excitement is sky high, it seems like everyone thinks this move is happening.
Let’s pump the brakes.
Right from the get-go there are a million reasons to be skeptical about this deal and the validity of it.
It started with a report that originated from The Netherlands.
The fact that this came from Holland tells us exactly which side leaked this to the press. This is a classic negotiation ploy. Real are trying to get van de Beek for a discount – due to the financial ramifications from COVID – Ajax are trying to get more money from them. How do you do that? You let them know that another big bidder is in the picture.
This happens all the time in transfer negotiations. It’s why they tell you not to believe 90% of what you read.
Those two publications did run reports with this “news” Saturday night but read the stories. There’s NOTHING in them. The mail is incredibly vague. It says things like Manchester United are looking to spend money. Van de Beek is available. Real Madrid have to rethink their finances etc etc.
There’s no sources about this, there’s nothing concrete in there. This is “we saw this get posted in another country so let’s run the story because it’s going to get clicks.”
Both stories literally grasp at straws for links. This is from the Mail.
“Van de Beek is well known to United’s Dutch head of global scouting, Marcel Bout and us also ighly rated by former United goalkeeper and Ajax’s chief executive, Edwin van der Sar.”
And this is from the Mirror.
“However, Woodward has a good relationship with Van der Sar, and will no doubt hope a deal can be done.”
Neither of these is news. Both of those are an editor saying give me something to link the two clubs together so we can play this off like it’s a story, how about mentioning Woodward and Van Der Sar’s good relationship.
Great, the two have a great relationship. That’s not news. They had a great relationship back on Thursday and no one was talking about this. The fact that they have a great relationship doesn’t mean that United are suddenly moving in for a deal.
On Sunday Edwin Van Der Sar threw more fuel on to the fire when he name-dropped United as a team showing interest in the player. Of course he did that, HE WORKS FOR AJAX! Saying “United have shown interest” publicly is the same reason you’d leak that news to the media, you want Real Madrid to get their shit together. Who do you think leaked the story to the media in the first place?
Van Der Sar probably isn’t lying. He probably had a very entry-level conversation with Woodward where Woodward inquired about the van de Beek’s price. But that’s probably all it was.
If United and Ajax were actually in discussions here you know where those discussions wouldn’t be taking place? The media.
Letting the media know that their in negotiations for VDB would be a terrible negotiating ploy from United. It wouldn’t benefit them in the slightest.
The only people who stand to benefit from the leak would be van de Beek or Ajax. The leak came from one of them, as a means of trying to get more leverage for more money from Real Madrid.
There is the chance that it’s possible that Real really don’t have money and later on United could swoop in and get him cheaper and I’d love it if they did, but I’m definitely not holding my breathe.
Having said all that, this would be a great signing for United. It’s honestly ridiculous that people are saying otherwise. The excuses range from “it’s not a priority” to “where would he play?” and on and on and on.
What kind of a joke is that?
First of all, we know United’s priority is Jadon Sancho. That doesn’t mean that United have to sign Jadon Sancho before they sign anyone else. They just need to make sure they sign him before next season starts.
We also know that Jack Grealish is a big target. Guess what, Van De Beek plays the same position! And he’s better than Grealish! In fact he’s very versatile and can play as a number 10, 8, or 6. That’s great because we need depth in all those positions!
If you think that we can’t sign a good player because they’re going to “demand to be first choice” then you really don’t know how the transfer world works.
For starters, players know that when they’re going from a club the size of Ajax or Aston Villa to Manchester United first team football isn’t guaranteed. You’re not going to play every game no matter who you are. They know that.
Second of all, you’ll get plenty of first team football. You’ll play in the Champions League, you’ll play in the league. Eventually someone will get hurt and you’ll play even more. It’s really not an issue.
Most importantly, United need depth. The drop-off right now between a Pogba/Fred or Pogba/Matic midfield to a Matic/McTominay, Fred/McTominay, Matic/Fred midfield is immense. You need to improve that line of depth.
Up front it’s the same thing, after Bruno who is there?
You need to improve that depth because you can’t let one injury cripple you. You also can’t just prepare for one injury. How many games has Andreas Pereira started at CM because Pogba, McTominay, and Matic were all unavailable. You need depth.
And don’t worry about youth players. If they’re good enough, they’ll play.
If you want to compete for the Premier League you need players good enough to start on your bench. That requires you to spend money on your bench. If you don’t want to spend money on your bench, then don’t complain when your bench is Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira.