Man United: Donny van de Beek joined the club to honour his former coach who is dying

Donny van de Beek and his mentor, Harm Grevink

Manchester United announced the signing of Donny van de Beek from Ajax in a £40m deal earlier this week.

The Dutchman was the club's first major signing of the 2020 summer transfer window and it's an acquisition that's excited the Red Devils faithful.

Van de Beek is one of European football's most exciting young midfielders, a player capable of scoring goals, assisting teammates and dictating the tempo of games.

How the 23-year-old will fit into a team with Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba is down to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but there's no denying the Ajax academy graduate is a top signing for United.

Van de Beek saw a potential move to Real Madrid collapse due to the Covid-19 pandemic and was itching to secure a move to another top club.

Van de Beek signs for Man Utd

United swooped in and one of the big reasons behind the Dutchman's desire to move to Old Trafford this summer is actually rather heartbreaking.

Van de Beek was eager to realise the dream shared by both him and coach Harm Grevink, the 73-year-old who first discovered the midfield talent at Veensche Boys and has been his mentor ever since.

Tragically, Grevink has been diagnosed with cancer and has been told he does not have long to live, so Van de Beek knew he had to secure his big move in 2020.

The Dutchman told the Mirror: “Harm was the man who spotted my talent as a kid. He told me I had the talent to become a professional player and he took me to Ajax.

Van de Beek signs a new contract at Ajax

“Whenever I was away from the club, we were training skills and all sorts. He was like a private coach.

“Sadly now he is dying – but he had one dream for me. He wanted to live to see my transfer to a big club, the next big stage in my career.

“We thought it was going to be Real Madrid. That did not work out, for ­various ­different reasons.

“Now I have joined an absolutely fantastic club in the biggest competition in the world.

“The fact that Harm knows that I am now a Manchester United player, among all those other great players at Old Trafford, fills me with joy. Because Harm is a wonderful man.”

Respect, Donny. The Dutchman has all the attributes to succeed in Manchester and make his mentor proud.

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