Leeds United reportedly rejected chance to sign Man Utd’s Donny van de Beek before Everton move - here’s why

Donny van de Beek joined Everton on January transfer deadline day from Manchester United, with Dele Alli also arriving from Tottenham.
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It provided a busy January transfer deadline day for Everton - for several reasons.

Firstly, there was finely confirmation of Frank Lampard’s arrival as new manager, with the Chelsea legend signing a two-and-a-half year deal at Goodison Park.

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Then attention turned to who would be recruited in the closing stages of the window and bolster the Toffees’ squad as they bid to climb the table in the second half of the season.

Donny van de Beek was always expected to join on loan from Manchester United - and that indeed proved the case.

Then Dele Alli completed a switch from Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer, with a future fee based on the number of appearances he makes in the future.

Indeed, Lampard has improved his midfield options, with Everton looking particularly brittle in the engine room under Rafa Benitez before his sacking last month.

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Van de Beek will be remembered as the first signing as the Lampard era and Blues fans will be hoping he can recapture the sterling form he showed at Ajax before moving to United in the summer of 2020.

However, the Dutchman could well not have been an Everton player this month - had Leeds United opted to have seized their chance.

The Athletic reports that Marcelo Bielsa’s side were contacted by intermediaries about signing van de Beek - along with Tottenham’s Harry Winks.

But it is claimed that neither ‘was an ideal fit’ for the Whites’ high-octane style of play.

Where will Donny van de Beek play for Everton?

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Certainly, 16th-placed Everton will be looking to profit on the decision made by Leeds - who sit one place and three points above in the table.

Now the challenge for Lampard is to get the best out of van de Beek.

The Toffees will likely switch to a 4-3-3 system now Lampard is in charge, having mainly played 4-4-2 under Benitez.

When Lampard first took the reins at Derby County in the summer of 2018, he admitted is was his preferred formation.

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Everton have lacked a distinct attacking midfielder who can operate in the number-10 role this campaign and van de Beek could be earmarked to fill the void.

Alternatively, he could feature as a number-eight which has more box-to-box responsibilities.