The 23-year-old has completed his medical at the club and is expected to join Old Trafford on a five-year deal for a fee of £40.3million.
Van de Beek helped guide Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals in 2019 and registered eight goals and five assists in the Eredivisie last season.
Former United coach McClaren believes the Netherlands international mirrors Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer Lampard’s ability to burst into the box from midfield and find the back of the net.
‘Van de Beek is exactly like Frank Lampard in his heyday; he gets in the box, scores, assists, his goal record of one in three is fantastic, he’s an excellent player,’ McClaren told talkSPORT.
‘He’s a little bit similar to Fernandes but I think Fernandes has got that pass that where Van de Beek is in the box, Fernandes will pick him out – Manchester United didn’t have that before.’
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have the unenviable task of trying to fit Van de Beek in with the likes of Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay in midfield.
McClaren expects Van de Beek to directly compete with Pogba for his place in Solskjaer’s side.
‘The only one I probably fear for, and it’s a debate that’s gone for a while, is Paul Pogba,’ the former FC Twente boss added.
‘Because you can’t play Van de Beek as your controlling, holding midfield player, he’s got to be an ‘eight’ or a ‘ten’, and at the moment Pogba is the ‘eight’ and Fernandes is the ‘ten’.
‘Manchester United hope to have lots of games with the Champions League etc and Ole knows you need a strong squad, so maybe, maybe he’s getting three of them so two can play in every game.
‘At the moment no one is challenging Pogba in that position and Van de Beek will challenge him and challenge Fernandes.
‘With Pogba, there is a great player in there but you’ve got find a way of getting it out of him in every game and across the whole 90 minutes.
‘I do think Pogba has been a far better player since he’s come back. It seems that Fernandes has ignited his passion, he’s got someone he can play with and now Van de Beek is coming in too.
‘You need competition at the top level. I think that’s what Van de Beek brings to Manchester.’