Solskjaer reveals he had been tracking Man Utd new boy Van de Beek for 5 years after impressive first training session


OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER has revealed his five-year long admiration for Donny van de Beek before the Dutch star joined Manchester United.

The midfielder cost £39million from Ajax and underwent his first training session at Carrington on Wednesday.

For Solskjaer, van de Beek has been one to watch for a number of years having bagged his first Ajax goal against the Norwegian.

A forthright header past Molde in December 2015 was not one the United boss forgot quickly, particularly as it bruised his defender.

Solskjaer told Football Daily Podcast: “I have actually followed Donny, his first goal he scored was against me, my team Molde, in the Europa League in 2015.

“We drew 1-1 at the Amsterdam Arena and he scored a fantastic header.

“He actually headbutted my centre-back at the time as well, so he was brave! Very brave!

“I’ve liked his infectious attitude, when you have a smile on your face. When you see players with that drive and desire.

“I’ve spoken to Edwin van der Sar, other players that know him, you just use the people you know and trust to scout that character.

“When someone scores against you, you’ll always remember it… You remember the goals you concede more than the ones you score, as a coach.

“I just remember a cross and he beats my centre-back and it loops over our keeper at the beginning of the game.”

Solskjaer and club captain Harry Maguire posed for pictures with the 23-year-old as he pulled on the club training kit for the first time.

Fans have speculated where the manager will fit van de Beek into his system with Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba starring at the end of last season.

But Solskjaer, 47, is confident in his new signing’s character and his ability to hit the back of the net.

He noted: “We’ve signed Donny and he’s a type of player I felt we needed in the squad.

“He’s the type of person that will fit the culture, fit the team and improve us next season and for years to come.

He added: “He’s a versatile player, a very intelligent, clever player. He’s got loads of energy, enthusiasm, developing all the time.

“He scores goals – we need to add goals from midfield. Our forwards scored quite a few goals last season, Bruno came in and scored goals but we need goals throughout the squad because we didn’t score enough to be challenging at the top.

“He will add his creativity, his reading of the game, his understanding of the game because he can see space and arrive at the right time, the timing of his movement is fantastic.”


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