Donny van de Beek to Man Utd: Dutch midfielder to wear No.34 in honour of Abdelhak Nouri

Donny van de Beek is all set to sign for Man Utd

Manchester United are on the cusp of signing Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek from Ajax.

The 23-year-old is set to arrive on English shores in a deal worth upwards of £40m and it represents United's first major signing of the summer.

Van de Beek is the latest high-profile talent to leave Ajax, following in the footsteps of fellow teammates Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech.

The Dutch midfielder was one of Ajax's standout players in 2019/20, scoring eight goals and recording five assists in just 23 Eredivisie games.

United are signing one of the most exciting midfielders on the planet, but Van de Beek will have to change shirt numbers upon his arrival at Old Trafford.

Van de Beek with Ajax

The number six he donned at Ajax is occupied by Paul Pogba at United, so the Dutchman is set to take on a heartwarming alternative with the Red Devils.

According to the Daily Mail, Van de Beek will request the number 34 shirt to honour his former Ajax academy teammate, Abdelhak Nouri.

Nouri rose through the ranks at Ajax alongside Van de Beek, but he collapsed during a friendly match back in 2017 and suffered serious brain damage as a result.

Van de Beek has previously stated how the incident still impacts him to this very day and why the number 34 is still so significant to him.

Van de Beek and Nouri

"He just joined the first team and we sat next to each other in the dressing room at De Toekomst," Van de Beek told De Telegraaf last year.

"‘I’m going to ask for shirt number 34, because the 34th title, we’re going to make that happen’, he said.

"After his cardiac arrest I kept thinking about his words and I was certain that I wasn’t going to leave Ajax until we had won a championship. I had to get that 34th championship.

"We all played for Appie too. I longed for this championship so much.

Van de Beek and Nouri in action

“I often visit his family and in the offseason I might go to Appie himself. To protect myself I haven’t visited him for a while, because when I seem him, that hurts me too much.

"I’ll be upset for a couple of weeks and I won’t sleep well. It hurts intensely and I’ll never get used to it. I want to be with him every day, because I miss him a lot.

"But I know I wouldn’t be able to function as well as I can now. If I am with him, I chat to him and I sometimes see a smile. It really gets through to him.

“I find it hard to talk about, because I hold these things in. When I’m sad, I pull back. I’ve never had the need for a psychologist, because I my friends and family are enough for me.

Van de Beek and Nouri in training

"They are always there for me and they listen to me when I need it. I’ve learned who is always there for me.”

Respect, Donny.

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