Everton have signed Netherlands midfielder Donny van de Beek on loan from Manchester United until the end of the season.
The 24-year-old becomes Frank Lampard’s first signing since succeeding Rafa Benitez as Toffees manager.
The former Ajax player was heavily linked with a move to Crystal Palace but has opted for Goodison Park as he looks to revive a career that has stalled since joining Manchester United 18 months ago.
What has been said?
The midfielder told Everton’s website: “Now I can say I am an Everton player, I am really happy and can’t wait to help the team.
“I think it is a great club… there are really good players here and I came because I want to help them go up the table.
“I hope to bring my football qualities, my passing, and, of course, scoring goals. It is a big part of my game to score and give assists and I will try to do that again. And it is not only offensive, you have to defend as a midfielder and I can do that as well.
“I had a really positive meeting with the new coach. We have the same ideas about football and he had a lot of influence on my decision.
“I played against him when I was at Ajax, and he was at Chelsea [as manager], so he knows me as a player. He thinks I have qualities that can help the team.
“I can learn a lot from him because he was a little bit in the same position – a midfield player who scored a lot of goals.
“He can help me a lot, so I think I’m in a good spot.
“I want to improve with Everton. There are always things that can be better and I work hard every day to do that.”
Van de Beek seeks fresh start
Van de Beek cost the Red Devils £35 million ($46m) when he joined from Ajax in September 2020.
The midfielder was seen as one of the Netherlands’ brightest young talents after graduating from Ajax’s famed youth academy and was part of the side that lifted the Eredivisie title and reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2018-19.
However, despite scoring on his United debut against Crystal Palace, Van de Beek has struggled for regular game time, making just 19 starts in all competitions.
With the World Cup to come at the end of this year, Van de Beek knows his place in the Netherlands side could be at risk if he is not playing regular football.
Toffees finally get their man
Everton tried and failed to sign Van de Beek last summer but decided to revive their interest after talks with new boss Lampard, who is charged with lifting the club away from the bottom of the Premier League table.
The midfielder is the Toffees’ fourth signing of the window after full-backs Vitaly Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson and winger Anwar El Ghazi.
He joins an Everton side that was desperate for midfield reinforcements, with Abdoulaye Doucoure, Fabian Delph and Tom Davies all out until March.
Van de Beek could make his Toffees debut in the Premier League trip to Newcastle on February 8.