Frenkie de Jong is certain his old Ajax team-mate Donny van de Beek has the required quality to thrive at Real Madrid.
Van de Beek confirmed reports last week that Real have entered talks with Ajax to sign him this summer. With Paul Pogba seemingly no longer an option, the Spanish giants have turned to Dutchman in a bid to strengthen their midfield.
The 22-year-old is the latest promising Dutch talent to come through the Ajax youth ranks. He’s captured interest in Europe for his direct play, vision and passing skills
Like De Jong, Van de Beek impressed greatly on route to Ajax’s Champions League semi-final run. He even scored against Real and Juventus to help the club record memorable victories in the process.
Opportunities, though, at the Santiago Bernabeu will be a lot harder for the youngster compared to Ajax. He will have to compete with the likes of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro for a midfield spot.
But De Jong is confident Van de Beek’s quality means he can make it at Los Blancos.
“I am pretty sure he has the ability,” the Barcelona midfielder told ESPN.
“I think he showed it last season in the Champions League, especially in the knockout rounds.
“I think he has shown to the world and everyone in Europe he has the ability to play at that level.”
When asked if he would like to see Van de Beek at Real, De Jong replied: “I would prefer him to stay at Ajax because I wouldn’t have him as an opponent and Ajax would stay strong.
“But, no, of course, when it’s all settled, and if he moves to Madrid, I am really happy for him. I think he deserves it. He’s a great player. Then I will go see him in Spain!”
De Jong could feature in Barcelona’s final pre-season friendly against Napoli in Michigan on Saturday night. Kick-off will begin at 23:00 (CET).
Meanwhile, Van de Beek will also be in action for Ajax’s second Eredivisie match against FC Emmen in Amsterdam.