Donny van de Beek’s heartwarming Man Utd shirt number choice explained

Donny van de Beek is set to complete a move to Manchester United described as a “dream come true” by his father.

The Ajax midfielder will move to Old Trafford on a five-year deal with an option for an extra year for £40million after rising through the ranks at the Netherlands.

He will be unable to keep his current No.6 shirt at United with Paul Pogba currently occupying the squad number.

And Van de Beek is instead set for an unorthodox but emotional alternative.

According to the Daily Mail, Van de Beek will request the No.34 shirt in tribute to his former academy team-mate Abdelhak Nouri.

Nouri and Van de Beek rose through the ranks as children together at Ajax before Nouri tragically collapsed during a friendly in the summer of 2017 and suffered severe brain damage.



Donny van de Beek is set to complete his move to Man Utd this week

Van de Beek has previously been open about how the tragedy impacted him and the close bond he still holds with Nouri, who requires around the clock care.

And he also revealed the significance of the No.34, which will take special meaning when he wears it for Manchester United.

In an interview with De Telegraaf last year, Van de Beek said: “Appie was so smart, you know?

“He just joined the first team and we sat next to each other in the dressing room at De Toekomst. ‘I’m going to ask for shirt number 34, because the 34th title, we’re going to make that happen’, he said.



Van de Beek made his Ajax first-team debut alongside close friend Nouri



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“After his cardiac arrest I kept thinking about his words and I was certain that I wasn’t going to leave Ajax until we had won a championship. I had to get that 34th championship.

“We all played for Appie too. I longed for this championship so much.

“I often visit his family and in the offseason I might go to Appie himself. To protect myself I haven’t visited him for a while, because when I seem him, that hurts me too much.

“I’ll be upset for a couple of weeks and I won’t sleep well. It hurts intensely and I’ll never get used to it. I want to be with him every day, because I miss him a lot.



Van de Beek gave an emotional interview about how he is still in touch with Nouri and his family

“But I know I wouldn’t be able to function as well as I can now. If I am with him, I chat to him and I sometimes see a smile. It really gets through to him.

“I find it hard to talk about, because I hold these things in. When I’m sad, I pull back. I’ve never had the need for a psychologist, because I my friends and family are enough for me.

“They are always there for me and they listen to me when I need it. I’ve learned who is always there for me.”

source.



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