Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ajax Winter Clearance Sales! Suarez, Stekelenburg, Van der Wiel and Vertonghen up for grabs!

Ajax – Possibly the biggest name in Dutch football and one of the best known institutions in the European game.  But, it could prove to be a long, hard winter for the Amsterdam club. 

They have won the Champions League on four occasions and the Dutch League an almighty 29 times.  Yet, financial problems indicate that they may be forced to cash in on some of their best players during the winter transfer window.

Over the summer, Ajax financial director Jeroen Slop candidly revealed that 35 million euros wasted by former coach Marco van Basten, combined with last year's failure to qualify for the Champions League group stage had put the club in the red.

This season, Ajax qualified for the group stage, but face a struggle to qualify from a group also containing AC Milan and Real Madrid.  Failure to do so could tighten the monetary screws again and mean that some of Ajax's top stars could be up for grabs.  Last week, the Dutch press reported that Luis Suarez might be the first to leave should the Champions League campaign come to an abrupt end.

Ajax are likely to hang onto young stars such as Christian Eriksen and Nicolas Lodeiro , two of the World Cup's youngest players, representing Denmark and Uruguay respectively. Yet, they have plenty of seasoned players who would also help to fill the Ajax coffers and have already attracted significant attention.

Maarten Stekelenburg
Age: 28
Position: Goalkeeper
Appearances this season: 16
Internationals: 37
Estimated market value: € 10M-15M

The 28-year-old was a solid presence between the sticks for Holland as they progressed to this summer's World Cup final.  Stekelenburg has been at Ajax since 2001 and has been a regular in the side for the last five seasons.
More comfortable on his line than coming off it, Stekelnburg is nonetheless a top class keeper.  

He has excellent reflexes and distributes the ball well with both feet.  Stekelenburg's reading of the game and anticipation is also of a very high standard.  At 6ft 3in, he is the kind of commanding presence that any manager would want.

Stekelenburg has been linked with both Arsenal and Manchester United .  While Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is still searching for a reliable alternative to Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski, Sir Alex Ferguson could do a whole lot worse than replace Edwin Van der Sar when he retires with his compatriot Stekelenburg. 

Gregory van der Wiel
Age: 22
Position: Right-back
Appearances this season: 16, 1 goal
Internationals: 19
Estimated market value: € 15M-20M

One of the most highly-rated right-backs in Europe. A product of Ajax's famed youth system, the youngster is set to be one of the top full-backs in the game for many years to come.  He has already helped his national side reach the World Cup final and there has been speculation for some time that van der Wiel is set for a move to further his club career.

There will be no shortage of interested sides either.  Van der Wiel is quick, athletic, tenacious and the model modern day footballer.  He is very keen to get forward and is adept at putting dangerous crosses into the box.  Very comfortable on the ball, van der Wiel is diminutive in stature but makes up for his slight frame with an excellent reading of the game.

Arsenal and Chelsea have both been mentioned in connection with van der Wiel.  Should he end up at Chelsea, he could just turn out to be the right-sided version of Ashley Cole.

Jan Vertonghen
Age: 23
Position: Centre-back
Appearances this season: 14, 3 goals
Internationals: 26, 1 goal
Estimated market value: € 7.5M-10M

The big Belgian has emerged as one of the most solid centre-backs in Europe.  He moved to Ajax in 2007 but has really come into his own under Martin Jol, becoming the side's first choice centre-back since the departure of Thomas Vermaelen to Arsenal last summer.

The 23-year-old has plenty of years ahead of him and at 6ft 3in, has the physical attributes to be a solid presence at the heart of any defence. Vertonghen occasionally gets caught out for pace, but his technique and reading of the game ensure that it is a rare occurrence.  Not surprisingly, he is a threat on goal from set-pieces.  Yet, he also has a wicked shot on him and is a good passer of the ball.

Although he signed two centre-backs over the summer, there has been speculation that Arsene Wenger would like to snap up Vertonghen for Arsenal and pair him once again with his international partner in the centre of defence, Thomas Vermaelen .

Luis Suarez
Age: 23
Position: Striker
Appearances this season: 13, 11 goals
Internationals: 37, 13 goals
Estimated market value:  € 20M-30M

Last but not least, unquestionably Ajax's most valuable asset, Luis Suarez .  The 23-year-old is one of Europe’s most coveted strikers. He scored a remarkable 49 goals in all competitions for Ajax last year and bagged three in the World Cup.  This season, he has already hit 11 goals in 13 games.

Suarez is an explosive player and it is difficult to spot a weakness in his game.  In addition to his power, technique and eye for goal, Suarez has also added assists to his repertoire and is capable of delivering dangerous balls from the right-hand side.

Suarez is well aware of his value and hinted last week that he would be interested in a switch to Old Trafford, saying “You know if you join Manchester United and are there for any length of time you will win things.” Although Wayne Rooney will now be staying at Manchester United , signing a striker of Suarez's caliber would be an excellent way to display the kind of ambition that Rooney has demanded.


Anonymous said...

Wow, this post is pleasant, my sister is analyzing such things,
therefore I am going to inform her.
Here is my web-site ; casino slot online

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you ever considered changing the
page layout of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.

Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two
pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?
Also visit my webpage slots real money

Anonymous said...

Hello, i think that i noticed you visited my website so
i came to return the desire?.I am attempting to to find things to improve my website!
I assume its adequate to use some of your ideas!!
Feel free to surf my page ; casino usa online

Anonymous said...

Hi there! Quick question that's completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when browsing from my iphone 4. I'm trying to find
a theme or plugin that might be able to resolve this issue.

If you have any recommendations, please share. Appreciate it!

my web-site :: jobs online south africa



Related Posts with Thumbnails