Donny's Hunger To Repay Evertonians' Affection

Donny van de Beek is promising to devote himself to helping “huge club” Everton following a “special” welcome from supporters.

Dutchman Van de Beek, who is readying himself for Saturday’s Premier League meeting with Manchester City, heard his name ringing around Goodison Park during a consummate full debut against Leeds United a fortnight ago.

The midfielder was starting a league match for the first time since the closing day of 2020/21, when he played for parent club Manchester United at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Van de Beek came to Everton searching for regular action, with a view to recapturing the distinguished form that lit-up Ajax’s Champions League semi-final run in 2019.

The player spoke to the Club’s matchday programme for this weekend's game against champions City, covering that tumultuous season with Ajax and a career and young life that has touched both ends of the emotional spectrum.

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He related, too, how an impression of Everton formed watching from afar was underlined when Evertonians chorused Van de Beek's name as the loan star orchestrated a convincing victory over Leeds.

“That was so special, I didn’t expect it,” said Van de Beek, who made 50 appearances – 19 starts – in his opening 16 months with United following a September 2020 transfer from Ajax.

“I always try my best and it feels good when you know the supporters are behind you.

“Their passion is amazing and it was important to win [against Leeds] for them and for the team.

“I have followed the Club since [fellow Dutchman] Ronald Koeman was manager [for 16 months from June 2016].

“I know a lot about Everton and the big fanbase and the expectation and I will give everything for this huge club.”

Van de Beek was the hometown boy at Ajax, the player from nearby Nijkerkerveen who joined aged 10 and grew into a club lynchpin.

He played 57 games in the club’s epic 2018/19 season, when the Champions League dream was cruelly snuffed out by Tottenham Hotspur, before Ajax gained their redemption by winning the club’s first league title in five years.

Donny van de Beek
I know a lot about Everton and the big fanbase and the expectation and I will give everything for this huge club.

Adjusting to a reduced role in England was tough going, then. But Van de Beek insists he’s never wanted for motivation and needs only remember beginning from scratch in Ajax’s youth teams to retain incentive.

"For my motivation every day, I remember where I started,” said Van de Beek, whose partner Estelle is expecting the couple’s first child in April.

“I always think about this – and always believe there is another way to go up again.

“I believe in my qualities and know what I can do.

“I have all the time to do it again and it is up to me to show it.”

Van de Beek, who missed last summer’s European Championship with a groin problem and is targeting a place at this year’s World Cup with Holland, added:

“It was difficult when we came to England.

“There were no fans in the stadiums, our family couldn’t visit us, everything was closed, so we couldn’t go out.

“We were at home together every day.

“And I didn’t play so many games, so it was a difficult time.

“But we helped each other and tried to stay positive – and we came out of it.

“The injury was too painful to play in the Euros.

“I recovered and increased my time in the gym, working on my strength and fitness, to prepare well for the season. It was an opportunity to improve myself.”

Buy a copy of Everton's official matchday programme for the Premier League clash with Manchester City to read the full interview with Donny van de Beek.

The latest issue includes manager Frank Lampard's notes, in addition to contributions from Seamus Coleman, Everton's captain, and CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale and an exclusive interview with the Club's former defender Cuco Martina.

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