Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Donny Van De Beek with the Dutchman set to wear number 34 as a tribute to his former teammate in Ajax Abdelhak Nouri.
New Manchester United player Donny van de Beek has decided to wear the number 34 with his new team. The reason for this is because it used to be the number adorning the shirt of his former teammate Abdelhak Nouri, who collapsed during a preseason game with Ajax back in 2017.
Nouri number inspires United’s Van De Beek
Nouri dropped to the ground during a game against Werder Bremen due to a cardiac arrhythmia attack, that left him with major brain damage and kept him in a coma for almost three years.
Prior to the incident, Nouri, who came through the Ajax academy, made his debut for the first team and played nine games.
Paying tribute to their teammate, several ex-Ajax players requested wearing his number when they joined other clubs, including Van De Beek more recently and Man City defender Philippe Sandler who joined the Citizens in 2018.
Manchester United completed the 40-million-pound signing of Van De Beek on Wednesday on a five-year deal with an optional extension for a further year.
Van De Beek delivered impressive performances with Ajax and has become one of the pillars of the very talented Dutch national team. He played a significant role in Ajax’s outstanding Champions League campaign for the 2018-19 season where the team managed to reach the semi-finals of the competition, and were a whisker away from the final.
Commenting on his move, Van De Beek said: “I cannot begin to explain how incredible an opportunity it is to join a club with such an amazing history”.
“I would like to thank everyone at Ajax, I grew up there and I will always have a special bond with the club. I am now ready to take the next step in my career and perform at the highest level and there is no higher standard than Manchester United,” he added.