Paul Merson gives his verdict on new Man United signing Donny van de Beek
Paul Merson accuses Manchester United of panicking after their £40m signing of Donny van de Beek from Ajax
Paul Merson has branded new Manchester United signing Donny van de Beek as a “panic buy”.
The Red Devils signed the Netherlands international in a £40m deal from Ajax on Wednesday to finally secure their first new arrival of the 2020 summer transfer window.
The 23-year-old put pen to paper on a five-year deal with Manchester United after the 20-time English champions saw off competition from FC Barcelona and Manchester United.
Van de Beek will be charged with building an understanding with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-choice midfielders Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba in this season’s Premier League.
The Dutch midfielder will presumably be competing with Nemanja Matic, Fred and Scott McTominay for the final starting spot in the Manchester United manager’s midfield.
Van de Beek arrived at Manchester United with a big reputation following a return of 41 goals in 175 games during his five seasons as a regular in the Manchester United team.
But former Arsenal midfielder Merson has described Van de Beek as a “panic buy”, adding that Manchester United should have prioritised signing a new centre-half.
“Donny van de Beek looks like a panic buy at Manchester United,” Merson told the Daily Star.
“I don’t get it. They just spent £40m on a position where they are already strong and how does he play with Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes?
“You have to have someone who can play the holding role. ‘That signing looked to me like: ‘Oh we haven’t bought anyone yet, let’s go and buy someone, who can we get?’
“When you look at their midfield, Fred was improving, and they’ve got Scott McTominay. Now they won’t get a game.
“And they just gave Nemanja Matic a new contract. Would they have done that if they knew they were getting Van de Beek? ‘It makes no sense to me. Who is making these decisions?
“It’s like them going for Jadon Sancho. If they sign Sancho, Mason Greenwood doesn’t play. For me they need another centre back.”
Van de Beek won the Eredivisie title and the Dutch Cup during his stint at Ajax as well as losing to Manchester United in the Europa League final in 2017.
Manchester United finished in third place in the Premier League table last season but Solskjaer’s side lost in the semi-finals of the Europa League, the FA Cup and the Europa League.
The Red Devils will make a delayed start to the Premier League campaign when they face Crystal Palace on Saturday 19 September.