Donny van de Beek is here, now we know what shirt number he will wear at Manchester United.
The Old Trafford club last night confirmed that Van de Beek will wear the number 34 for the 20-time Premier League champions.
Van de Beek chose that number to honour his friend, Abdelhak ‘Appie’ Nouri, who wore the number 34. Nouri tragically collapsed on the football field a few years ago while playing for Ajax.
United’s new signing is a great family friend of the Nouri’s, and is extremely close to both Appie and his brother. This is a classy way to honour his pal, who only awoke from his coma fairly recently.
Credit where it’s due, we covered a story from the Daily Mail a couple of days ago, who had the scoop on this one before the transfer was even made official by United yesterday.
When taking the number 34, Van de Beek said:
“This is a special thing for me because my good friend Abdelhak Nouri… maybe you know the story. He had a heart attack and he’s a good friend of mine, and I’m really close with his family and his brother is one of my best friends, and I talk a lot with them. So I decided to take his old number on my shirt. I want to get good memories with this number.”
This is a real measure of the man. Not only are United signing an outstanding footballer, but they’re getting an unbelievable human being, too.
I don’t doubt that Van de Beek will hit the ground running on the football field, while immediately making friends in that dressing room. He’s a classy young man who fits in perfectly with what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is trying to achieve.
It’s also worth mentioning that Dean Henderson, who previously owned the number 34, was generous enough to let the former Ajax star have that number. I don’t doubt that he’ll be getting a first-team number in the not too distant future – though I don’t believe it’ll be the number one just yet.
Jonathan Greening, Phil Bardsley and Anders Lindegaard are the other former owners of the number 34. I’d be surprised if our Dutch midfielder doesn’t become the most successful owner of that jersey number in the 2020/21 term.