• his playing style
• his strengths
• his weaknesses
• how he will fit in
Firstly, van de Beek is an offensive-minded player who is a traditional roamer. He likes to find space in the final third and often drifts into pockets to collect passes. This off-ball movement necessitates a deeper player who can play line-breaking passes.
In addition, he is one of the most efficient midfielders in Europe with regard to his decision making. This is due to his excellent spacial awareness which not only allows him to play efficiently [by finding valuable space] but prevents him from trouble.
One of his strengths, and perhaps the main one, is his spacial awareness, similar to Thomas Müller, with regard to how he manipulates space to create opportunities for others.
This would be valuable for us in the final third where we frequently become congested.
Lastly, there has been a lot of talk with United fans regarding pass completion. This isn't an issue with van de Beek. Due to his playstyle, spacial awareness and efficiency, he retains possession very well:
Firstly, he is not a chance creator in the way a De Bruyne, Fernandes or Ziyech is. So, he does not rack up a large quantity of chances created. However, he does create high quality chances and this is where he excels. It is an issue of quantity vs quality.
Secondly, he is not a player who passes between the lines often. This is not to say he cannot do it but, rather, he does not frequently. In fact, he is more of a receiver of these passes. This means he might struggle in line-ups without a line-breaking passer.
The next section will discuss how he will fit into the team.
Van de Beek is a no. 10 for the most part. He is capable of drifting with verticality (higher and deeper) as well as with horizontality (left and right flanks). He is able to play anywhere behind the forward in our side.
Can he play in a pivot? Yes. However, he becomes largely limited there because his strengths — off-ball roaming, picking up pockets, playing on the turn, pressing, etc — become restricted. So, he is essentially a no. 10 and should not viewed of as a pivot player.
I suspect he will start many cup games and will start occasional league games depending on the situation. With Fernandes’ durability the chances of him starting as an AM are slim however he can slot in on either side and be effective.
• van de Beek is an upper-tier good player
• he excels off the ball and is a space creator
• he is a hard-working midfielder
• he is not a great chance creator
• he is still quite young
Personally, I feel €40m (£35.7m) is an excellent deal for him.
Last season we really struggled with depth to the extent that Solskjær would delay substitutions. Van de Beek is good enough to be starting for us in terms of his inherent quality and he would improve our depth massively.
End of Thread.