The 23-year-old completed a £35million move to Old Trafford in August, adding to United’s impressive options in midfield.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had been expected to target weaker areas such as as central defence and the right wing but Van de Beek will now compete with the likes of Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Nemanja Matic and Fred for a starting berth.
With so many options, United fans are wondering where the Dutchman could fit in at the Theatre of Dreams.
‘He can play in different positions in midfield – he can be a six or an eight or a 10, he has a great eye for a goal. His technique is brilliant, he can go box to box,” Van der Sar told MUTV Group Chat.
‘I presume he’s had a talk with Ole and they’ve talked about different positions [he can play]. He’s multi-functional, he can play a little bit deeper which I think is his preferred role.’
The Dutchman is expected to be handed his full debut against the Eagles and Van der Sar says United fans can expect to see similarities between Van de Beek and former midfielder Paul Scholes.
‘I’d compare him a little bit to Scholesy, although Scholesy had a cracker of a shot from 30/40 yards out and that’s not Donny’s strength, but he likes to come into the box and chip in with goals,’ said Van der Sar.
‘Maybe it’s unfair to compare him to Scholesy actually, but he’s a good lad and I’m sure he’ll be a great addition to the team that Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] is creating for United.
‘Of course, we know United already have a couple of great midfield players there so he will find his way in the team and also with the amount of games that top clubs need to play this year in the Premier League and Champions League and the cup matches, everything is quite intense so you need a good, wide squad and I think the midfield looks okay at the moment for United’.