Van Persie's comments on van de Beek's physicality are very encouraging

Donny van de Beek has completed his Manchester United medical, as per Sky Sports, and is all set to sign on the dotted line.

Van de Beek would be looking to become the next in a line of Dutch players to enjoy great success at Old Trafford, including Jaap Stam, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Edwin van der Sar and, of course, Robin van Persie.

In de Telegraaf, van Persie has given his insight into what van de Beek could expect from United and what United can expect from him.

His warning about what it takes to step up at Old Trafford might have grabbed the attention of some.

Yet it’s what van Persie said about his countryman’s physicality and fitness shows he could offer midfield reliability United sorely need.

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60-game-a-season midfielder

Van Persie wrote: “Physically I don’t foresee any problems for Donny. His walking actions are his biggest weapon. He is also able to play sixty games a year.

“Easy games just aren’t there anymore. Especially against Fulham or Crystal Palace, you have to play the most. At every duel, even at every throw, those opponents pound on you.

“He has the advantage that he has gained a lot of experience in the last two seasons in Europe.”

United have been beset by injuries all over the pitch in recent times, even stretching back to Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign.

The value of having a durable player able to cope with the demands of elite football shouldn’t be overstated, especially in this most hectic of seasons.

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Midfield injuries hurt United last season

Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba were both sidelined for months at a time in 2019/20.

It had a huge impact on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s ability to develop the team, forcing him to play the likes of Andreas Pereira in a deeper role more regularly.

Bruno Fernandes barely missed a minute after his January arrival. He looks a player, like van de Beek, who can go again week after week, but will need a rest at times.

If van de Beek can last the pace in the way van Persie predicts, it could have a huge impact.

Too often, United have had quality players on the treatment table and not on the pitch.

Similar injury problems in a frantic season would be a real headache, which should make van Persie’s comments music to the ears of United fans.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.