DONNY VAN DE BEEK has a reputation for boasting the same box-to-box drive that made Bryan Robson a legend.
But it is the midfielder’s personality which has convinced Captain Marvel he will become a crucial member of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s culture club at Manchester United.
Robson reckons boss Solskjaer is putting together a squad that reminds him of the team that first won the Prem under Sir Alex Ferguson 27 years ago.
He said: “It means so much when you have players with personality who also want to communicate and step up to the plate. These are qualities Ole has brought in with signing the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Harry Maguire — and now Van de Beek.
“From what I’m being told he is a great lad, everybody inside the club is saying this. He’s chatty, personable. You can see that he’s a really nice guy.
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“Everybody talked about how friendly and chatty he was when he came in. And I’ve been talking to Edwin van der Sar who is chief executive at Ajax, he says the same thing.
“He comes across like Bruno, who I have met several times, and who is a brilliant lad. He harmed everyone when he arrived, so he’s got great communication skills but he matches that to being a winner — the same as Van de Beek.
“I love how feisty Bruno is. Can you remember the Sevilla game in the Europa League? Lindelof switches off and they score.
“Well, Fernandes dug him out — and I would have done exactly the same thing. I love that, Bruno saw it and had a go — you should do — to improve people. And if Ole now has another one like Bruno in the form of Donny van de Beek, then I’m all for it.
“The most successful United team I played in was the one that won that first title, then the Double next year. We had unbelievable characters — Schmeichel, Brucey, Irwin, Incey, Keane, McClair, Hughes, Cantona, myself.
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“Giggs was a kid but he was tough–minded. The success was because they were great players but they also demanded from each other — and that makes you a great team.”
Club ambassador Robbo added: “For success, it’s got to be about personality and ability.
“You look at the impact Bruno has had on Pogba. He is helping Paul to become a better player and express himself.
“Since he has been at the club, Paul has started to play the way we know he can. And if they’ve now got another one in Van de Beek, then they have a real chance.
“Maybe not this season, maybe not just yet, but Ole’s buys have been good. You can’t knock Wan–Bissaka, who may not be the greatest on the ball, but what a good defender.
“I’m not having it that Maguire isn’t absolutely top class. Yes, he’s made the odd mistake, but what centre-half doesn’t? What is most important is that he has personality, that drive.
“He’s a leader but there is a whole team of leaders beginning to develop in there, just like we had. Van de Beek, with the personality many within Old Trafford have told me he has, will fit right in.
“Ole talked about creating the right culture within his squad and he is doing it — last season you saw the start. Now he has another in there who will add to the team spirit.”
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