Who is…Tottenham’s latest intended Ajax acquisition?
There is already a distinct Ajax imprint on the current Tottenham squad, with centre-half pairing Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, as well as midfield creator Christian Eriksen all former disciples of the Amsterdam side.
But as a summer of transfer activity approaches, the north Londoners appear ready to add yet more de Godenzonen stock to their side.
The Daily Express report that 19-year-old midfielder Riechedly Bazoer is attracting interest from the Lilywhites. It wouldn’t be the first time a Premier League bigwig has considered signing him.
Manchester City almost snapped up the rangy midfielder when he left PSV as a youth player in 2012. However, Bazoer’s own mother dissuaded him from switching to England, insisting he’d be better served developing in the Netherlands for a few more years before moving abroad.
As a result, the teenager signed for Ajax, who promised to play him in his preferred central-midfield role rather than as the central-defender that PSV saw him as.
Ever since arriving at the Amsterdam Arena Bazoer has flourished. He made his league debut for Frank de Boer as an 18-year-old last season and has featured in 29 Eredivisie games this term, scoring five goals and registering another five assists.
Described by his former Jong Ajax coach Alfons Groenendijk as “the Patrick Vieira of Ajax,” Bazoer has developed a lofty reputation through his performances since breaking into the Amsterdam club’s first team.
Used as part of a three-man midfield by De Boer, the youngster’s main attribute is his ability to dribble through central areas of the pitch, some of which is on display in the compilation video below.
Not one to bring the ball out of defence and help build attacks, Bazoer would provide competition to Mousa Dembele’s place in the Tottenham team should he arrive at White Hart Lane.
Finding an alternative to the former Fulham man should be high on Spurs’ priority list this summer. They only lost three times when he featured in the starting lineup during 2015/16, but slipped to eight defeats when he was unavailable.
Like the Belgian, Bazoer is adept at squirming out of, and around, challenges from opponents. He also possesses enough athleticism to maintain the high-energy press that Mauricio Pochettino likes to deploy.
Already a Netherlands international, Bazoer would be a particularly handy capture for the Lilywhites, but it’s unlikely they are the sole suitors for a player considered one of Europe’s best young stars.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.