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Ajax and Edson Alvarez are Man Utd’s best bet for moving on Donny van de Beek

It’s been all doom and gloom for Donny van de Beek since swapping Ajax for Manchester United in 2020 as one of Europe’s most promising midfielders.

Not even Erik ten Hag’s appointment last summer has helped the Dutchman find his feet in the Premier League, with the Red Devils contemplating his sale in the coming months.

Van de Beek has become a somewhat forgotten figure at Old Trafford, so finding suitors willing to match United’s valuation of their underperforming midfielder could prove rather arduous. 

Only three years after leaving the Johan Cruyff Arena for £35 million, the 26-year-old may return to his homeland in a desperate attempt to revive his career. 

Ajax helped him gain worldwide attention and could be ready to bring his declining career back on track, especially now when they look to revamp their squad following a poor third-place finish in the Eredivisie. 

Man United could convince the Lancers to bring Van de Beek back on a cut-price deal, but there’s another scenario that may benefit the Red Devils even better. 

Edson Alvarez has recently dropped a hint about his future, suggesting he could depart Amsterdam after becoming one of the best Eredivisie midfielders over the past four years.

At 25, the Mexican is approaching his peak age and taking the next step in his career looks to be at the forefront of his mind going into the summer transfer window. 

Would Ajax accept a player-plus-cash deal for Alvarez? If United can convince Alvarez, it would then need Ajax to convince Van de Beek.

Ajax may charge a hefty fee on top, but spending £30m would upgrade United’s squad depth – something that let them down at critical points this season.

Why would it be a good deal for United?

Ten Hag is in the market for midfield reinforcements amid Fred’s uncertain future at Old Trafford and doubts about Scott McTominay’s ability to perform at the highest level. 

Casemiro was United’s most consistent midfielder last term.

But the Brazilian often lacked support from his colleagues in the centre of the park, forcing him to go above and beyond to help the Red Devils secure a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Alvarez did the same for Ajax after switching from a centre-back role to midfield, providing a further layer of cover in front of the defence while dictating the pace with pinpoint precision. 

Cross-referencing the Mexican’s overall midfield output with Casemiro’s more conservative style shows the two are a perfect match for Ten Hag’s double-pivot. 

While the ex-Real Madrid man beats Alvarez in terms of defensive contribution (98.8/89.2), the latter’s involvement in attacking movements trumps the 31-year-old by some margin. 

Alvarez’s impressive 91.9% forward pass accuracy is double Casemiro’s 42.2%, while he also made 94 progressive runs compared to the Brazilian’s 20. 

Alvarez would also be an excellent back-up for Casemiro if he were to miss games due to injury or suspension.

Conclusion

If Man United can arrange a swap deal to ship Van de Beek back to Ajax and get Alvarez in return, Ten Hag may save some extra cash to fund his pursuit of a top-class striker

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