Out of fear of getting it wrong and making signings that don’t suit the manager in the crucial year before the elections, it looks like Barça will give Ronald Koeman great power to decide this summer’s transfers. Thus, expect us to be linked with a long list of Dutch players. The first is a pretty obvious one: Van de Beek.
It is easy to see why Koeman has asked for his signing: he knows him well from the Dutch national team, would allow him to be flexible and implement his style, plus would reportedly cost between €25 or 30m and Ajax would cooperate. A bargain price, if you ask me.
The 23-year-old is perfect for a 4•2•3•1 with freedom behind a striker and in front of a midfield. In a 4•3•3, though, he struggles more. It has been seen this season as Van de Beek has suffered more once he has had to take more responsibilities in midfield. Donny needs to appear silently between the lines, find pockets of space and link the midfield with the attack. He has an outstanding spatial awareness, which is difficult to perceive as fans, but at the same time he can’t be excessively involved in build-ups.
Personally, I would not sign him. Extraordinary player whose qualities are often overlooked, but (1) I would rather give that role and minutes to the likes of Riqui and Aleñá, (2) he is a player quite dependant on the context and formation, (3) it would be a signing for Koeman. With this I mean that maybe, with a new president next season, Koeman is replaced and the new coach, like Xavi, switches to a 4•3•3 and Van de Beek is not as useful. Quality and style is not a problem, but we don’t need midfielders, especially not of such profile.