Edwin van der Sar quickly realised the pressure he might have been piling on Donny van de Beek.
Donny van de Beek remains Manchester United’s only major signing this summer and the early signs suggest that he will bring something new to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s midfield.
One man who knows Van de Beek more than most is United legend, Edwin van der Sar, who is currently Ajax’s CEO.
Van der Sar is so fond of Van de Beek that he even sent an open letter to United fans asking them to take care of the young Dutch midfielder after he arrived at Old Trafford three weeks ago for a fee of around £35 million.
With Red Devils supporters curious about where Van de Beek will fit in their side with Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba, Van der Sar tentatively compared the 23-year-old to one of United’s greatest ever players, Paul Scholes.
However, it didn’t take long for Van der Sar to row back on that comparison, perhaps conscious of the added pressure such a statement could put on his fellow Dutchman.
Speaking to MUTV, Van der Sar said: “He [Van de Beek] can play in different positions in midfield – he can be a six or an eight or a 10, he has a great eye for a goal. His technique is brilliant, he can go box to box.
“I’d compare him a little bit to Scholesy, although Scholesy had a cracker of a shot from 30/40 yards out and that’s not Donny’s strength, but he likes to come into the box and chip in with goals.
“Maybe it’s unfair to compare him to Scholesy actually, but he’s a good lad and I’m sure he’ll be a great addition to the team that Ole is creating for United.
“I presume he’s had a talk with Ole and they’ve talked about different positions [he can play]. He’s multi-functional, he can play a little bit deeper which I think is his preferred role.
“Of course, we know United already have a couple of great midfield players there so he will find his way in the team and also with the amount of games that top clubs need to play this year in the Premier League and Champions League and the cup matches, everything is quite intense so you need a good, wide squad and I think the midfield looks okay at the moment for United.”