Ajax star Donny van de Beek has been warned over the “enormous” challenge that will await should he join Real Madrid by Royston Drenthe.
Van de Beek was one of the Ajax stars who helped play a decisive role in their memorable run to last season’s Champions League semi-finals.
The 22-year-old is one of many midfield talents to through the Ajax system like Clarence Seedorf and Christian Eriksen. His direct play, vision and passing skills have seen plenty of plaudits come his way.
This has, naturally, led to interest from Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid. Although the latter appears to be his most likely destination.
Spanish media have claimed Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane plans to bid for Van de Beek should his pursuit of Manchester United’s Paul Pogba fail.
But Drenthe, who played for Real between 2007 to 2012, gave his fellow Dutchman a stern warning over what awaits him at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“It will have an impact on him if he goes to that huge Real,” the Sparta Rotterdam winger told De Telegraaf.
“When I arrived there it was already extremely hectic, with three to four thousand people at the airport. A quarter of the stadium was filled at the presentation, for Cristiano Ronaldo the entire stadium.
“At that time boys like [Ruud] Van Nistelrooy, Guti and [Michel] Salgado took care of me and other young boys like [Gonzalo] Higuain.
“But he must still do it alone, although of course there will be people from the club who will help him.”
Drenthe ended up making just 46 appearances at Real, who shipped him off on loan to fellow La Liga side Hercules and Everton in the Premier League for the final two years of his contract.
“It’s very nice for Donny,” continued the 32-year-old.
“I only know him from TV, from that last beautiful year at Ajax. He’s a very good player. Being able to play football without pressure is the best thing possible, but if the pressure beats you…
“That was also the case for me, ‘why didn’t it work for me?’ I thought. Not everyone could deal with it. Of course, I don’t know Donny, but it would be nice if he could handle it.
“If he thought how big Ajax was in the Netherlands, he will be almost unable to understand how enormous Real is.
“He will be the first (Dutchman) to be able to play there since Rafael [Van de Vaart], Wesley [Sneijder], [Klaas-Jan] Huntelaar and me.”
Van de Beek managed 17 goals and 13 assists in 57 appearances for Ajax across all competitions last season.
The five-time Netherlands international is under contract until 2022 and has a reported buy-out clause of €65m.