Donny van de Beek
|Full name||Donny van de Beek|
|Date of birth||18 April 1997|
|Place of birth||Nijkerkerveen, Netherlands|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12:02, 26 December 2019 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 June 2019 (UTC)
Born in Nijkerkerveen, Van de Beek joined the Ajax academy in 2008. In 2015, he made his competitive debut for the club in a Europa League match against Scottish club Celtic. In the 2016–17 season, he was included in the Europa League Team of the Week in November. The club progressed to the final but lost to Manchester United. During the 2017–18 season, Van de Beek established himself as a fixture in Ajax's starting eleven. He scored his first hat-trick for the club and finished the season scoring 13 goals. Following the 2018/19 campaign, in which Ajax reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, Van de Beek was listed among the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or.
Donny van de Beek's parents are André and Gerdina van de Beek. André is a supporter of Ajax and took Donny to their stadium at the age of five. Donny's younger brother Rody plays for Veensche Boys.
Donny van de Beek began his career as a boy with the local Veensche Boys' academy where his father, Andre, once played. In August 2014, he joined the Ajax youth academy signing a three-year contract, and was assigned to the D-team. He progressed further through the academy and featured in the A1 team Supercup victory against the Feyenoord A1 team. On 27 January 2015, he signed a contract extension, to keep him at the club until mid-2018.
Van de Beek made his debut for Jong Ajax (the Ajax reserve team) in the Eerste Divisie against Sparta Rotterdam in January 2015. Two months later, manager Frank de Boer called him to the senior team for a league match against ADO Den Haag as an injury replacement. However, he was an unused substitute in that match. At the end of the 2014–15 season, he won the AFC Ajax Talent of the Future award.
In November 2015, Van de Beek was called to the senior team for a UEFA Europa League match against Scottish club Celtic. He made his European debut in the match, which Ajax won by a score of 2–1. He termed his debut as "beautiful" and added: "I have taken my duels well. It was of course difficult because the game went back and forth continuously. But I think I did fine." Three days later, Van de Beek made his first team debut in a 2–0 league victory against PEC Zwolle. In the following month, he scored his first goal for Ajax in a 1–1 draw against Norwegian club Molde FK. As he scored the goal, his head collided with opposition player Joona Toivio's causing his left eyebrow to bleed. Commenting on the goal, he said that he would not soon forget it. The goal also won him the club's Goal of the Month Award.
Voetbal International reported in January 2016 that manager De Boer was impressed by Van de Beek and said he would continue to play with the first team "until further notice". After the departures of John Heitinga and Yaya Sanogo, he was officially promoted to the first team on 16 February. Media reports in March suggested that German club Bayern Munich was interested in signing him. By the end of the 2015–16 season, he cemented his position with the first team, and was also playing regularly for the Ajax under-19 team in the UEFA Youth League. Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo reported that Barcelona was considering options to secure his services.
2016–present: Ajax first team mainstay
At the beginning of the 2016–17 season, new manager Peter Bosz included Van de Beek in the Ajax squad for the UEFA Champions League qualification match against Greek club PAOK for a couple of reasons: Bosz was impressed by Van de Beek's performance during pre-season friendlies in Austria, Riechedly Bazoer was injured and Nemanja Gudelj was suspended. On 26 July, he made his Champions League debut against PAOK, starting in the 1–1 draw. While playing for the reserves during the season he and Abdelhak Nouri were the only players who were given more than a seven rating on average by Voetbal International. In November, he was included in the UEFA Europa League Team of the Week for his performance against Panathinaikos. He was a part of a midfield trio with Nouri and Lasse Schöne. In April 2017, the Daily Express reported that Barcelona and Bayern Munich were scouting Van de Beek. Van de Beek replaced Schöne in the 70th minute of the Europa League final against Manchester United, with Ajax losing the match 2–0.
Commenting on Van de Beek's 2017–18 pre-season matches, the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad wrote that he had successfully filled the void created by the departure of Davy Klaassen who had recently moved to English club Everton. In October, English club Tottenham Hotspur scouted him in the Netherlands. He scored a goal in both legs of the Champions League qualifier against French club Nice. In the first leg, he scored an equaliser in the 36th minute of the 1–1 draw; taking an advantage of an error made by opposition goalkeeper Yoan Cardinale. In the second leg, he found the net in the first half of the 2–2 draw. On 18 November, Van de Beek scored a hat-trick in an 8–0 league victory against NAC Breda. Ajax captain Joël Veltman hailed the feat as "extra nice". He featured 34 times in the league and scored 11 times, besides adding six assists. In July 2018, he rejected an offer made by Italian club Roma citing that "Ajax is the right place for his development".
Van de Beek played a pivotal role as the attacking midfielder for Ajax in the 2018−19 season, starting almost every match in all competitions, as the team won their first league title in five years and surprisingly qualified for the semi-final of the 2018-19 Champions League. Van de Beek scored against Juventus on 16 April in the second leg of the quarter-final to help his team knock out the Italian champion with a 3–2 on aggregate. On 7 May, he scored against Tottenham Hotspurs in the first leg of the semi−final which resulted in a 1−0 away victory for Ajax. Nonetheless, Ajax did not manage to advance to the final, losing the tie on away goals after a 2−3 defeat at home.
On 11 September 2013, Van de Beek made his debut for the Netherlands under-17 team against Germany. He was part of the squad that managed to reach the final of the 2014 UEFA European Under-17 Championship after defeating Scotland in the semifinal. However, they finished runners-up to England.
On 14 November 2017, Van de Beek made his senior international debut against Romania in a friendly match. He appeared in both games in the 2019 UEFA Nations League finals as a substitute, as the Netherlands defeated England 3−1 but lost to Portugal in the final 0−1.
Style of play
At Ajax, Van de Beek plays as a central midfielder. The Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo writes that he plays a more offensive role compared to his counterparts on other teams. According to Ajax manager Frank de Boer, Van de Beek plays best at the number six position (central midfield position). Goal.com described Van de Beek as a player who has "excellent control and a great eye for a pass as he links up with the attack and is dangerous as he makes runs into the box". While playing for the Ajax academy, he was compared with Davy Klaassen. However, Van de Beek rejected the comparison and said that he was a player who wanted to keep the ball at his feet. Ajax captain Joël Veltman described Van de Beek as a player who "works very hard and can play between the lines".
- As of 22 December 2019
|Jong Ajax||2014–15||Eerste Divisie||6||0||–||–||–||6||0|
- As of 25 October 2019
- Eredivisie: 2018–19
- KNVB Cup: 2018–19
- Johan Cruyff Shield: 2019
- UEFA Europa League: runners-up 2016–17
- "Donny van de Beek". Ajax.nl. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- "André en Gerdina van de Beek : Trots op't Been" (in Dutch). Nijkerkerveen. 11 March 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- "Zoon Donny van de Beek lijkt vader André te overtreffen [Son Donny van de Beek seems to surpass father André]". Veensche Boys. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "Rody van de Beek wint weddenschap van opa" [Rody van de Beek wins bet from grandfather] (in Dutch). Nijkerkerveen. 30 April 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- "Voetballes van Donny en Jari [Footballs by Donny and Jari]" (in Dutch). Stad Nijkerk. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "Even voorstellen: Donny van de Beek [Introducing: Donny van de Beek]" (in Dutch). AFC Ajax. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "Donny van de Beek from Nijkerkerveen longer at Ajax [Donny van de Beek from Nijkerkerveen longer at Ajax]" (in Dutch). Omroepn. 27 January 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "Trotse Van de Beek tekent contract [Proud Van de Beek signs contract]" (in Dutch). AFC Ajax. 27 January 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "Donny van de Beek (17) in selectie Ajax 1 [Donny van de Beek (17) in selection Ajax 1]" (in Dutch). Stad Nijkerk. 21 March 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "D. van de Beek". Soccerway. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "Ajax wijst 'Talent van de Toekomst' aan: 'Een speler naar mijn hart'[Ajax points out 'Talent of the Future': 'A player to my heart']" (in Dutch). Voetbalzone. 9 June 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "Donny van de Beek mee naar Celtic [Donny van de Beek along to Celtic]" (in Dutch). Parool. 24 November 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- Lisanne Kielema (27 November 2015). "Van de Beek debuteert tegen Celtic: "Het is puur toeval" [Van de Beek makes his debut against Celtic: "It is pure coincidence"]" (in Dutch). Ajax1. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "Donny van de Beek: 'Dit is een droomweek natuurlijk' [Donny van de Beek: 'This is a dream week of course']" (in Dutch). AT5. 29 November 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "Van de Beek schrikt bij Ajax: "Die jongens zeiden van: pas op" [Van de Beek is shocked at Ajax: "Those guys said: beware"]" (in Dutch). Voetbal Primeur. 11 December 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "Van de Beek: 'Zeker geen goal om snel te vergeten' [Van de Beek: 'Certainly no goal to forget quickly']" (in Dutch). VI. 10 December 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "Van de Beek vergeet eerste goal niet snel [Van de Beek does not forget the first goal quickly]" (in Dutch). Ajax Show Time. 10 December 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "Donny van de Beek maakt doelpunt van de maand [Donny van de Beek makes goal of the month]" (in Dutch). Nijkerk. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "De Boer heeft boodschap voor Van de Beek: "Tot nader order" [De Boer has a message for Van de Beek: "Until further notice"]" (in Dutch). Voetbal Primeur. 9 January 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "De Boer hevelt Van de Beek definitief over naar Ajax 1 [De Boer definitively transfers Van de Beek to Ajax 1]" (in Dutch). VI. 16 February 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "De ideale schakelaar Donny van de Beek [The ideal switch Donny van de Beek]" (in Dutch). Ajax Life. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
- Oriol Domenech (30 June 2016). "El Barça se fija en Donny van de Beek [Barça looks at Donny van de Beek]" (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
- ""Onze" Donny van de Beek maakt debuut in Champions League ["Our" Donny van de Beek makes his debut in Champions League]" (in Dutch). Nijkerkerveen. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
- "Bosz vult puzzel met Van de Beek en Viergever [Bosz completes a puzzle with Van de Beek and Viergever]" (in Dutch). Voetbal. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
- "Cassierra en Dolberg debuteren voor Ajax tegen PAOK [Cassierra and Dolberg make their debut for Ajax against PAOK]" (in Dutch). VI. 26 July 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
- "Van de Beek en Nouri blinken uit in Jupiler League [Van de Beek and Nouri excel in Jupiler League]" (in Dutch). VI. 5 October 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
- "Donny van de Beek in Europees Elftal van de Week [Donny van de Beek in European national team of the week]" (in Dutch). Stadkijkerk. 25 November 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
- Uche Amako (18 April 2017). "Barcelona and Bayern Munich in transfer battle: Ajax midfielder scouted". Daily Express. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
- Jacob Steinberg (25 May 2017). "Manchester United beat Ajax 2-0 to win Europa League – as it happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
- Nik Kok (31 July 2017). "Van de Beek doet Klaassen al vergeten [Klaassen has already forgotten about the Beek]" (in Dutch). Algemeen Dagblad. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
- "Tottenham scouting Ajax players Justin Kluivert and Donny van de Beek". Sky Sports. 25 October 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
- "Champions League Review: Van de Beek earns Ajax away goal in Nice tie". FourFourTwo. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- "Champions League Review: Nice dump Ajax out, Young Boys upset Dynamo Kiev". FourFourTwo. 2 August 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- "'Goalgetter' Van de Beek: 'I was extra eager today' ['Goalgetter' Van de Beek: 'I was extra eager today']" (in Dutch). VI. 18 November 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
- "'Van de Beek vervangt Klaassen vrij aardig' ['Van de Beek replaces Klaassen fairly nice']" (in Dutch). Ajax Show Time. 20 November 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
- "Ajax midfielder turns down Roma offer". Calciomercato. 4 July 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- "Donny van de Beek". Ons Oranje. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- "Oranje U17 verplettert Schotten [Orange U17 crushes Scots]" (in Dutch). Ajax Show Time. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- "England U17s win European Championship title in Malta". The FA. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- Bert van der Linden (14 November 2017). "Debuut Van de Beek in Oranje [Debut Van de Beek in Orange]" (in Dutch). Algemeen Dagbald. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- Francesc Aguilar (21 October 2016). "Donny van de Beek, un talento hecho realidad [Donny van de Beek, a talent come true]" (in Spanish). Mundo Deportivo. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "The next Van Dijk? 10 Dutch youngsters who could be stars". Goal.com. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "Donny van de Beek - Career Honours". Soccerway.
- "2016/17: United win it for Manchester". UEFA. 30 May 2017.
- "The complete ranking of the Ballon d'Or France Football 2019". France Football. 2 December 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
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