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Van de Beek Football Odyssey: Ajax to Bundesliga
- Updated: January 2, 2024
Donny van de Beek, the 26-year-old midfielder, has embarked on a new chapter in his career with Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga. The Dutch international, born on April 18, 1997, hails from Nijkerkerveen and began his football journey with the Ajax youth academy in 2014. His rapid progression through the ranks earned him a contract extension four years after joining, a testament to his promising talent.
Van de Beek made his senior debut for Ajax in November 2015, featuring in both continental and domestic competitions. His skillful performances caught the attention of European football’s elite clubs. He played a crucial role in Ajax’s journey to the Europa League final in 2017, where they faced Manchester United, the team he would later join. Despite the final loss, van de Beek continued to shine and played a pivotal role in Ajax’s run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018–19.
One of the memorable moments was his goal in the semi-final first-leg win against Tottenham Hotspur, although Ajax faced heartbreak in the return fixture. However, van de Beek celebrated a league and KNVB Cup double with Ajax, securing their first top-flight title in five years.
Having contributed 41 goals and 34 assists in 175 senior appearances for Ajax, van de Beek made a move to Manchester United in the summer of 2020. Despite making 33 appearances in his first season, he struggled to fully integrate into the team. In the following season, he was loaned to Everton, where injuries limited his top-flight appearances to just seven.
Van de Beek’s international journey includes being part of the Netherlands’ Under-17 side that reached the final of the 2014 European Championship. He made his senior debut against Romania in 2017 and has earned 19 caps, scoring three times. Unfortunately, he missed Euro 2020 due to injury.
Now, on loan to Eintracht Frankfurt, van de Beek is eager to revive his career under coach Dino Toppmöller. The move to Mainhattan offers him a fresh start and the chance to showcase his versatility. The comparison to Germany’s İlkay Gündoğan highlights van de Beek’s playing style, emphasizing their midfield versatility, duel-winning ability, and deep-lying capabilities.
Despite being an unused substitute in Manchester United’s Europa League final loss in 2021, van de Beek brings valuable experience to his new club. Former Ajax coach Frank de Boer recalled how Dennis Bergkamp identified van de Beek as a special talent in the youth team, drawing parallels with Bergkamp himself. Ole Gunnar Solskjær, former Manchester United player and coach, praised van de Beek’s exceptional ability to read the game and time his movements.
Eintracht Frankfurt’s board member for sport, Markus Krösche, expressed confidence in van de Beek fitting perfectly into their playing philosophy, emphasizing his importance to the squad. The Dutch midfielder’s journey from Ajax to Manchester United and now to Eintracht Frankfurt reflects his determination to shine at the highest levels of European football.
As Donny van de Beek embarks on this new Bundesliga adventure, fans and football enthusiasts eagerly anticipate his contributions to Eintracht Frankfurt’s campaign and his journey to reestablish himself as one of Europe’s talented midfielders.
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By- Sahiba Suri