Donny Van De Beek Will Take Number 34 At Man Utd To Honour 'Appie' Nouri
Van de Beek is set to join United from Ajax in a deal worth up to £40 million after completing a medical on Monday.
The Daily Mail state his shirt number will be a poignant homage to childhood friend and former teammate Nouri, who previously wore 34 with the Dutch giants.
Tragically, Nouri suffered a cardiac arrhythmia attack and collapsed on the pitch during a friendly with Werder Bremen in 2017.
It was later confirmed that Nouri, who had been with Ajax since the age of nine, suffered serious and permanent brain damage and was in a coma for nearly three years.
Van de Beek opened up about the pair's bond during an interview last year and one specific incident involving his younger brother, Rody.
Rody was hospitalised with a tumour in his back and Nouri took great interest in helping his friend through the struggle.
Donny: "I visit his family very often, and maybe during the summer-holiday I will try to see Appie himself again. But out of protection for myself I haven't seen him for a while now. It just hurts too much. If I visit him I can't sleep for weeks, because the pain is so intense." pic.twitter.com/Tn2aQRHcEl
- :gem: (@TheEuropeanLad) May 15, 2019
"I find it hard to talk about, because I hold these things in," the 23-year-old explained to De Telegraaf last year.
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"When I'm sad, I pull back. I've never had the need for a psychologist, because my friends and family are enough for me. They are always there for me and they listen to me when I need it. I've learned who is always there for me.
"Appie was a super happy kid, that wasn't focused on himself, but mostly on the people around him.
"He was good for others, a great player and a great person. When he got older he visited prisons to get young people on the right path and point them to their opportunities.
"And he took all the time in the world for people with illnesses and children with disabilities. I will always remember that.
"I thought the most beautiful thing was that he did it out of the sight of camera's and photographers.
"When my brother Rody was ill, Appie showed a lot of interest as well. And he got pleasure out of taking his little sisters to school and picking them up, and buying presents for them. He did anything for his sweet family."
Van de Beek admitted the horrific incident made him feel "powerless and angry" in the months that followed.
Perhaps the most emotional story, Abdelhak Nouri collapsed in a pre-season friendly in 2017 for Ajax, and was diagnosed with permanent brain damage. As a tribute, several players now wear his no.34 in his honor pic.twitter.com/YKdP2sAL9m
- Jonas Giæver (@CheGiaevara) January 8, 2020
"I still wonder why it had to happen to him.
"Obviously I don't want things like that to happen to anybody, but it seems it always hits the good people.
"Appie always wanted the best for everybody and he absolutely did not deserve this. It makes me feel powerless and angry."
Featured Image Credit: PA Images & @TheEuropeanLad/Twitter
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