By Alex McLeish

7th Oct, 2021 | 7:00pm

Everton backed to sign 'world-class' player 'like Dan James' in January - ex-manager

Alex McLeish has backed Everton to strike a deal to sign Donny van de Beek from Manchester United in January.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Scotland manager admitted the 24-year-old’s “world-class” talents are going to waste at Old Trafford.

Speaking to Dutch broadcaster NOS’s Along The Line programme, Everton director of football Marcel Brands revealed the Toffees tried to sign the Van de Beek this summer.

Manchester United pulled the plug on a potential loan late in the summer window.

However, Brands suggested Everton may try another move in January if United are willing to cooperate.

McLeish admitted Van de Beek needs to get playing regular first-team football again.

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He suggested a move to Everton could reignite his career in a similar way to Dan James at Leeds United.

McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “What do we say every week? They need to play, don’t they, they need to play.

“Donny van de Beek will be losing confidence, that is a massive factor for any individual in any sport or walk of life they’re in. Confidence breeds success.

“That kid will be feeling unworthy. That he is not good enough for the club. A move to a club such as Everton, if he can get regular football, it’d be a bit like Daniel James.

“He’s gone to Leeds, he’s playing regularly and you can see the enthusiasm in his game.

“Van de Beek, he is seen as one of the emerging, young, world-class players at his age level.

“But there are so many players at Man United that he’s trying to usurp. Ole has a kind of fixed idea in his head about who he’s going to play every week.

“It seems to be a bunch of players who we see week in, week out. No sign of Van de Beek making a breakthrough.

“He has to go and get regular football for his own sake and his own health, fitness levels and to show his prowess as a footballer.”

In other news, Everton tipped to raid Tottenham for another wantaway star.