Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek made his first Everton start after joining on loan from Manchester United, with the Toffees securing a comfortable victory over Leeds United
Everton manager Frank Lampard sung the praises of new signing Donny van de Beek after the Dutch international impressed on his full debut for the club.
The midfielder made his debut from the bench in a defeat at Newcastle in midweek, but came in for Andre Gomes as Lampard’s side beat Leeds United 3-0 at Goodison Park.
Van de Beek partnered Allan in a midfield pivot, a role which some at parent club Manchester United were unconvinced he could fill before the decision was made to send him out on loan.
And after the game, Everton’s manager shed some more light on the future he sees for the former Ajax man, after acting quickly to bring him to Merseyside on loan on transfer deadline day.
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Van de Beek played a part in the opener, with his low cross popping up off a Leeds defender for Seamus Coleman to head home, but his defensive work was no less notable.
He had struggled to displace Bruno Fernandes from an advanced midfield role at Old Trafford, with more than one manager reluctant to use him as a six alongside either Fred or Scott McTominay.
Lampard’s view is different however, and he said he was not surprised by Van de Beek’s ability to play in a deeper berth while suggesting he remains an option further forward.
“I sort of expected that, because I knew Donny as a player from the outside, brought him here because of his talents in terms of he can play, his intelligence, his work ethic, really intelligent and technical player,” Lampard said.
“He was part of a really strong work-ethic kind of performance, he matched the other players in that sense, he gave us a sense of calm, he linked the play, looks confident on the ball and that’s exactly what I brought him here to do.”
“I think he can do different roles, and that was the beauty and why I moved so quickly to try to get him when I came in.
Further goals from Michael Keane and Anthony Gordon saw Everton end up 3-0 winners, their biggest league win since September 2020 and their first of any kind in the top-flight since early December.
Van de Beek was playing as a six in part due to the absence of injured duo Abdoulaye Doucoure and Fabian Delph, and there is every chance he moves into a more advanced role when Everton have more options available to them.
“I’m a big admirer of his and I think he can do both roles for us – he played in the double six, or two midfield players (against Leeds) and I know he has the talent to link and get us through the lines with his passing, also the work ethic needed in that role,” Lampard said of the new man.
“I know he can do higher and he’s a goal threat too.
“That’s one of the big pulls of me bringing him in, knowing he can bring different elements to help us in different ways, and when called upon to do that kind of disciplined role, I thought he did it really, really well.”