Donny van de Beek has had his wishes granted and will wear the No. 34 shirt at Manchester United.
Donny van de Beek joins the Red Devils on a five-year deal after United agreed a fee in the region of £40 million with Ajax.
Van de Beek completed his medical on Monday and he was unveiled as a United player on Wednesday evening.
While some pundits debate how the Dutchman will fit into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side with Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, supporters are thrilled with the acquisition of one of Europe’s most exciting prospects.
With some midfield departures expected at United this summer, a few squad numbers are expected to be freed up but Van de Beek has always had his heart set on a very specific number.
According to The Daily Mail, the soon-to-be-former Ajax playmaker requested the No. 34 shirt at Old Trafford as a tribute to close friend Abdelhak ‘Appie’ Nouri.
Van de Beek played alongside Nouri at Ajax and the pair grew quite close but Nouri’s career was sadly cut short when he suffered permanent brain damage after collapsing on the pitch during a friendly game with Werder Bremen three years ago.
Nouri wore the No. 34 shirt for Ajax and Van de Beek is said to be eager to honour his former teammate, who has come out of his coma and is now recovering at home.
Van de Beek was deeply affected by Nouri’s trauma and has had an affinity with the No. 34 ever since.
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When the Dutch midfielder scored against Juventus in the Champions League last year, he couldn’t help but notice the time on the scoreboard when his goal went in.
Van de Beek said: “I looked up at the scoreboard after I had scored, saw it was the 34th minute and simply knew that wasn’t coincidence. It’s something very special. I will never forget this again.”
United’s No. 34 shirt was last worn by Tom Lawrence in the 2014/15 season.