Donny 'Amazed' By Evertonians' Passion

Donny van de Beek insists he has bountiful scope for improvement following a brilliant full-debut performance in Everton’s comprehensive Premier League win over Leeds United on Saturday.

Dutchman Van de Beek, acquired on loan from Manchester United on last month’s transfer deadline day, lit up Goodison Park with a proficient exhibition of fast and progressive passing.

The 24-year-old was combative and sharp in the tackle, too. Van de Beek’s energy and endurance contradicted the fact he was starting a Premier League game for the first time this season; his nine previous appearances – including for Everton at Newcastle United last week – all coming off the bench.

Van de Beek has nearly doubled his top-flight playing time at a stroke since signing for Everton a fortnight ago, spending 120 minutes on the pitch for Frank Lampard’s side, against the 70 minutes he played for parent club United.

The former Ajax player partnered Allan in a dominant Everton engine-room, as the hosts rode a tidal wave of support inside Goodison to steamroller in-form Leeds.

“It was an amazing day and a good start for me,” Van de Beek told evertontv.

“We played really well from the first minute to the end – and we really needed this.

“But it was not only us, the fans really made the difference.

“The atmosphere was so amazing and I enjoyed that.

“I am really happy to play 90 minutes, but in the last 20 minutes I felt it was a long time ago that I played a full game and I was a little bit tired.

“But now I can make steps.

“I think I can help the team but still there is space for improvement.

“I was sharp, took many balls and made some good decisions on the ball – but I am always critical and always can do better.

“I am happy to play my first game – but it is not about me, it is about winning games for the Club and the team and I am here to help.”

Van de Beek delivered the low cross that was eventually converted by Seamus Coleman to underline Everton’s early superiority over Leeds and usher in, arguably, the Blues’ most complete display this term.

The 19-cap international knitted together play and was his side’s most prolific and most accurate passer of the ball.

Donny van de Beek
I was sharp, took many balls and made some good decisions on the ball – but I am always critical and always can do better.

In addition to supplying 40 passes at a success rate of 87.5 per cent, he made a joint-team-high four tackles and won three aerial duels.

Van de Beek’s efficiency in possession gave Everton “a sense of calm”, in the view of manager Lampard, who highlighted the player’s “intelligence, work ethic and technical ability”, adding: “he linked the play and gave us a sense of confidence on the ball”.

Lampard acknowledged “the beauty” of Van de Beek’s versatility, too, and that is a quality the midfielder prides himself on.

“I think I can play in different positions and I like to play in the Premier League as a number eight, box-to-box,” said Van de Beek.

“The manager wants me to bring some quality with the ball, to link-up in midfield. He expects a lot from me and I expect a lot from myself.

“I am really happy with the first two weeks.

“We knew we had to play better than against Newcastle – and from the training and the people at the Club and what I saw against Leeds and the fans, I am really happy to be here.

“I think we need to put passion in our game, everyone knows we are not in the spot we have to be and it is only one game.

“It is a long way to go until the end. We have an important game at Southampton on Saturday and have to win it.

“These three points give us confidence and from that we can build and improve.”

Van de Beek emerged from a strong field to claim man-of-the match honours at the weekend.

Among his closest challengers for the prize was Anthony Gordon, who is fast growing into a cornerstone of Everton’s attack.

Goodison certainly appreciated Gordon’s latest effort – and Van de Beek joined the thunderous ovation when the 20-year-old was withdrawn in the final quarter.

“He is a good player, a young player but from what I have seen in the first weeks he has a lot of qualities and he showed those against Leeds,” added Van de Beek.

“But everyone, not only one or two players, were good and important – and it should be like that.

“It was a good effort from ourselves and the atmosphere was so impressive and made a big difference.

“Now we have to improve every week to go up in the table.”