That is according to former Ajax youth coach Ruben Jongkind, who mentored him during his time at the club.
The Netherlands international swapped life in Amsterdam for Lancashire after agreeing a five-year contract with the Red Devils.
He marks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first signing this summer after he made a creative midfielder a priority.
But Jongkind reckons he would not have had a great time at the Bernabeu.
He told the Manchester Evening News: “He will be challenged, the average age in the Premier League is probably around 26 or 27, but I think he has shown in European campaigns that he has enough skills to play at the highest level.
“He likes a challenge and he has this mindset that he wants to go further every time.
"I think this is a better time than, for example, [Justin] Kluivert to AS Roma, that was too early.
“It is also a good club to move to. United have a history of bringing in youth players, I think it’s a great choice, much better than Real Madrid, I think that would have been a disaster.
“The playing style is more akin to Donny at United than Real Madrid as well.”
Meanwhile, Solskjaer has urged United chiefs to act smart in the transfer window and sign the right characters.
“We've come quite the distance since February,” Solskjaer said. “But you saw how tired you were towards the end. We need the break.
“It's going to be a strange summer. The market is open for so long. We've got to be good, smart and clever.
“We're looking at it. I can't say when and if they're going to be done. It's a quick turnaround. We have to be 100 per cent sure when we make those deals.
Get the latest transfer news straight into your inbox!
Want to be on the ball with all of the latest football news?
Well then sign up for the brilliant new Daily Star Sport email newsletter!
From the latest transfer news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all in your email inbox.
How do you sign up?
It only takes a matter of seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article and hit 'subscribe'.
And that's it, job done. You'll receive an email with all of the top news stories every single morning.
You can find out more information on our email newsletter on this link here.
“We definitely need to improve if we want to move up the table and on in the cups. We are working to improve what we have. We're always looking to improve the squad.
“It's not about marquee signings, it's about quality. You need the right personality to make us better.
"We might look at it today and see where we need to improve. Maybe today showed that they have to learn and get the consistency.”