The Athletic journalist Greg O’Keeffe doesn’t think that either Rafael Benitez or the Everton board will be keen on signing Donny van de Beek.
The Manchester United midfielder’s agent said in September that he had tried to find a new club for his client and that his search had ‘ended up at Everton’. He claimed that talks were held over a possible transfer, only for United to intervene and block any deal.
Van de Beek has been on the periphery at Old Trafford this season, playing just five minutes across the Red Devils’ first seven Premier League fixtures, and the Dutchman’s estimated transfer value has fallen to £22.5m as a result, having been just shy of £50m less than two years ago.
In a mailbag for The Athletic, O’Keeffe said that his ‘understanding of the situation’ is that Everton sporting director Marcel Brands was ‘made aware’ of Van de Beek’s availability late in the transfer window and ‘may have inquired’ about a possible move.
However, he doesn’t think the 24-year-old ‘is a player who fits into Benitez’s plans’ and explained that Brands’ role is seemingly to ‘source and present options’ to the board and the manager.
O’Keeffe suspects that they would have declined if Van de Beek was on the table, saying that ‘there’s a feeling he wouldn’t fit into the system’ given that two of Everton’s existing attacking midfield options, Richarlison and Demarai Gray, are ‘quicker and more dynamic’.
Van de Beek demonstrated his class at Ajax, starring in their run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2019, but concerns about whether Everton would be a good fit for him are not misplaced.
Realistically, Richarlison, Gray and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are all part of the Blues’ strongest XI, and in a 4-4-1-1 formation, that doesn’t really leave any room for Van de Beek.
Why would he move elsewhere in the Premier League when he could just be adopting a rotational role there which wouldn’t be much different from his current place on the Old Trafford periphery?
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience