Donny van de Beek has been encouraged to move to Chelsea instead of Manchester United due to the midfielder’s similarities to Blues manager Frank Lampard. The Ajax ace has been linked with a switch to Old Trafford for several transfer windows but former Chelsea winger Jesper Gronkjaer believes Stamford Bridge could suit the 23-year-old better.
Van de Beek caught the eye during Ajax’s incredible run to the Champions League semi-finals last season but remained in Amsterdam, despite attracting interest from a number of high-profile European clubs.
The Dutch youngster is already the subject of much speculation once more and United have long been considered favourites in the race to sign the versatile star, while Real Madrid and Barcelona are also in the hunt.
But former Chelsea ace Gronkjaer has urged Van de Beek to consider a team of Chelsea’s stature and believes that the player’s attributes are very similar to those of current Blues boss Lampard, who enjoyed a glittering 13-year stint at Stamford Bridge.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see Van de Beek at Real Madrid or Barcelona but I would rather see him at a club just below that,” Gronkjaer told Goal.
“For his style of play alone, clubs like Tottenham or Chelsea would be a better fit.
“They are still top clubs and he is more like Frank Lampard, that kind of player. He is a big guy, box-to-box and takes good long shots, but he is not as technically gifted as other players that have come from Ajax.
“He is a player you can always get a certain level from.”
Juventus are another club who have been linked with a move for Van de Beek, although the Ajax ace will be concerned about the struggles of former team-mate Matthijs de Ligt at the Allianz Stadium.
The centre-back has struggled to replicate the form which catapulted him onto the world stage in 2018/19 and is yet to nail down a guaranteed starting berth under Maurizio Sarri.
Likewise, Frenkie De Jong has endured an inconsistent time at Barcelona since his switch to the Nou Camp last year.
“De Jong and De Ligt have yet to show their full potential,” explained Gronkjaer.
“They did well at Ajax and moved to Barcelona and Juventus but have struggled. It is another level but I think that in years to come they will be some of the best players in Europe.
Chelsea should also have cash to burn if they do want to make a move for Van de Beek, having been restricted by transfer bans in recent windows and unable to spend any income generated from player sales.
Lampard is also searching for a new striker as he looks to ease the goalscoring burden on Tammy Abraham while the Blues require a new left-back to replace Emerson Palmieri or Marcos Alonso.
Additionally, reinforcements in central defence would be welcome while Kepa Arrizabalaga’s future remains uncertain so an experienced goalkeeper could also arrive.