Thu. Oct 1st, 2020

Man Utd

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Van de Beek’s Man United shirt number and the tragic story behind it

2 min read

New Manchester United signing Donny van de Beek will wear the No.34 for the club.

United made Van de Beek their first signing of the summer on Wednesday evening after confirming the £40.1million move from Dutch giants Ajax.

The 23-year-old has put pen to paper on a five-year deal, with the option for a further year, and arrives having established himself as one of Europe’s best playmakers, having made his name in Ajax’s thrilling run to the Champions League semi-finals in the 2018/19 season.

Although lower, more typically prestigious numbers such as No.7, No.11 and No.19 were all available, Van de Beek has instead opted to wear the No.34 for his new club.

Donny van de Beek signs for Manchester United

Van de Beek specifically requested the jersey to pay tribute to his former Ajax teammate and close friend Abdelhak Nouri, who collapsed during a pre-season game against Werder Bremen in 2017 and suffered a cardiac arrhythmia attack.

“This is a special thing for me because my good friend Abdelhak Nouri… maybe you know the story,” the Dutchman told United’s official site.

“He had a heart attack and he’s a good friend of mine, and I’m really close with his family and his brother is one of my best friends, and I talk a lot with them. So I decided to take his old number on my shirt. I want to get good memories with this number.”

Dean Henderson was the club’s No.34 but has allowed his new teammate to take the shirt.

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