Tyrell Malacia dreamed of returning to Old Trafford one day after playing there for Feyenoord youth and spoke to Robin van Persie about Manchester United as transfer edges closer

    Tyrell Malacia can’t wait to return to Old Trafford having made a promise to himself as a kid.

    The 22-year-old highly-rated full-back will finalise his move to Manchester United after undergoing a medical at the start of the week.

    Malacia looks set to be the first signing under Ten Hag


    Malacia looks set to be the first signing under Ten Hag

    Malacia, who will cost the Premier League side around £12.9m, once played United in a youth tournament, but has come on leaps and bounds since then – becoming one of the best stars in the Eredivisie.

    The Netherlands international is excited at the opportunity of playing in the Premier League, and under compatriot Erik ten Hag.

    “In the youth team of Feyenoord we played a youth tournament at United years ago – and I was so impressed by everything,” he told De Telegraaf.

    “I said to myself ‘I’ll come back here one day.’ That has now come true and that is, of course, wonderful.

    “This is one of the biggest clubs in the world, with a fantastic stadium and a wonderful history- and of course with a lot of top players who have played here.

    “I am proud but also very grateful that I get this opportunity. I understand that the work on an even higher level only begins now.

    Malacia played against United at youth level, and dreamt of returning to Old Trafford


    Malacia played against United at youth level, and dreamt of returning to Old Trafford

    “Becoming better every day and showing at this level that you can measure up.

    “I have worked hard all my career and this is a reward for that, for me and for all the people who have always supported me and believed in me.”

    Malacia says United is a club he followed growing up, and remembers watching Feyenoord legend Robin Van Persie playing at Old Trafford.

    Van Persie, of course, helped the Red Devils to the Premier League title in 2013, and enjoyed great success in his three-year stint in Manchester.

    Van Persie has inspired the 22-year-old full-back


    Van Persie has inspired the 22-year-old full-back

    “I always followed Manchester United because Robin van Persie played there and he was a Feyenoord player. He was a lad who came from the academy at Feyenoord, too – just like me. That’s why I got an extra feeling with this club.

    “I talked to him [Van Persie] about the club and the city. About places to live. Also through my childhood friend Tahith Chong, with whom I played at Feyenoord, I have heard a lot.

    “I’m only just coming to this level so I still have to show what I can do. But I want to reach the very highest and go for it – and I think I can do it, yes.”

    Malacia, who will be the first signing under Erik Ten Hag, is excited at playing under the new United boss.

    Malacia is relishing working under Ten Hag


    Malacia is relishing working under Ten Hag

    “Mr Ten Hag is a very good coach and also a warm person, so I had a good conversation with him and I have a very good connection with him.

    “That’s important, because if all goes well we’ll be working together for many years. I’m looking forward to that, because I think I can learn a lot from him. He has a record for improving players individually, as long as they are prepared to work hard.”

    Malacia continued: “I also feel the tempo and the spirit in the matches will suit my game. And just look at all the fantastic footballers in the Premier League: [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Kevin] De Bruyne, [Mohamed] Salah – and in the past people like [Thierry] Henry, Van Persie, [Ruud] van Nistelrooy.”

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