ANALYSIS: Why Real Madrid are right to turn to Donny van de Beek instead of Paul Pogba
by Chirag R Bhattad
Madrid: Reports coming out the the Spanish capital are pointing towards a move for young Dutch sensation Donny van de Beek to provide depth in midfield and add a world-class ball carrying player. MARCA have reported that with Paul Pogba looking out of reach financially, Madrid are looking at the AFC Ajax midfielder as an alternative.
Donny van de Beek played 57 times for Ajax last season, including 18 times in the UEFA Champions League. His UCL campaign began in early July, with three rounds of qualification leading up to the group stages. Ajax then went on a memorable run, losing out narrowly to Tottenham Hotspur in the last minute of the UCL semifinal.
In the Eredivisie, the Dutch top-tier football league, van de Beek played each and every game of a successful campaign. The 22 year old was an integral part of the Ajax midfield, helping Ajax play out from the back and linking defense with attack. Van de Beek is also very good at making the dangerous late runs which help him get into really good attacking positions.
The result was 9 goals and 10 assists in the Eredivisie, adding to his 4 goals and 2 assists in the Champions League. He also averaged 2.2 tackles per game, 1.2 interceptions per game, 1.4 Key passes per game and had a 78% passing accuracy in the UEFA Champions League.
Meanwhile, Paul Pogba, who had a quarterfinals run in this Champions League, scored 2 goals and assisted 2 goal over the last two seasons in the UCL. He also averaged 1.1 tackles per game, 0.65 interceptions per game, 1 Key passes per game and had an 85.6% passing accuracy in his 14 games in the UEFA Champions League over the last two seasons.
Clearly, if both the players are compared against the same quality of opposition, Donny van de Beek looks much more solid, much more well rounded and an overall better prospect given his age. The 22-year old can play as a box-to-box midfielder who does not back away from making those late runs into the box.
Looking at his tackling and interception stats, it is interesting to see how well he has done defensively, balancing his game out pretty well. Meanwhile, Paul Pogba has always been maligned to be an attack-minded midfielder who does not care about running back and defending.
Pogba has horrendous defensive numbers for a midfielder and his attacking outlet also doesn’t compare well with that of van de Beek. Given that he could be prized away from AFC Ajax by an offer worth €50 million, half of what Paul Pogba will cost, also makes him a no-brainer. If Real Madrid do go after Donny van de Beek, it would be one of the best bit of business by them this summer, given his age, his quality and consistency.
Do you think Real Madrid will sign Donny van de Beek or will they continue to push for Paul Pogba? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to us on instagram, twitter and facebook.