Donny van de Beek starred against Leeds on his first Everton start since joining on loan from Manchester United in January; Dutchman was Lampard's first signing: "I'm a big admirer of him"; Lampard also praises youngster Anthony Gordon after his goal and assist in the 3-0 win over Leeds
Sunday 13 February 2022 12:25, UK
Everton boss Frank Lampard says he is a "big admirer" of Donny van de Beek and believes his impressive home debut against Leeds showed why he "moved so quickly" to bring the midfielder to Goodison Park.
Van de Beek became Lampard's first Everton signing after joining on loan from Manchester United for the rest of the season on Deadline Day.
The Dutchman, who struggled to break into the starting XI at United, was given his first Everton start against Leeds and excelled in central midfield as he helped the Toffees to a comfortable 3-0 win.
The 24-year-old's eye-catching performance came despite it being his first Premier League start of the season.
Asked if he thought Van de Beek would make such an immediate impact, Lampard said: "I expected that.
"I knew Donny as a player from the outside and I brought him here because of his talent in terms of his play, his intelligence and his work ethic.
"He's a technical player but he matched the other players for work ethic. He gave us a sense of calm and he linked the play.
"He looked confident on the ball and that's exactly what I brought him here to do."
Van de Beek was deployed as a central midfielder alongside Allan in a 4-4-2 formation by Lampard for the win over Leeds.
The Netherlands international made his name as an attacking midfielder at Ajax, having scored 41 goals in all competitions over his final three seasons there before he joined United.
Questioned about his role under Lampard, the Englishman said: "I think he can do different roles and that's the beauty [of him] and why I moved so quickly to try and get him when I came in.
"I'm a big admirer of him as a player and I think he can do both roles for us. He played as one of two midfield players today and I know he's got the talent to link and get us through the lines of the pitch with his passing, and he also has the work ethic needed in that role.
"I think and I know he can do a higher role, and he's a goal threat too, so that's one of the big pulls of me bringing him in, knowing that he can bring different elements of his game to help us in different ways.
"When called upon to do that discipline role today, I thought he did it really well."
Anthony Gordon also produced a standout performance against Leeds after he was credited with the third goal and also assisted Michael Keane's goal.
It meant the 20-year-old became the sixth different player to both score and assist a goal in a Premier League match for Everton aged under 21.
Lampard said of Gordon: "Has he surprised me? No, because I've watched a lot of him.
"Obviously I analysed a lot of the games before I came in to get an idea of the squad, and Anthony was a standout for me.
"I really liked some of the attributes he was showing before I came. You never know until you get here but from the first day in training, he wants to learn and listen and he wants to engage with me, my staff and team-mates.
"He has a great talent and a work ethic, and when you're an Everton lad as he is, and the fans see that in him, then that's a huge start.
"I think he can go a really long way in the game and it's his job now to keep his head down and do that. I've got no real worries about that because I can see how much he wants it and then it's my job to try and eek everything from him.
"He's young and he'll develop loads more, but at the minute he's playing outstanding football and long may that continue."
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