Ajax youngster Frankie De Jong, 20, has been linked with Arsenal and Manchester City after breaking into the Europa League finalists’ first team. He forced his way into the side after he was awarded the Jupiler League Talent of the Season during his time with Ajax Reserves.
The Sun reported the midfielder could be available for just £5million this January as De Jong has just a year and a half left on his current contract.
The young prospect came off the bench for Ajax’s loss to Manchester United in the 2017 Europa League final. He has made eight appearances so far this season for Ajax and has been rewarded with a call up to the Netherlands U21 side as they bid to earn their place in the UEFA U21 Championship Finals in Italy for the first time since 2013.
The rumour of another Ajax youth graduate to an English side should not come with any surprise as it seems to have become a trend as of late. Six players have arrived upon English shores in 2017 from the dutch side, including Davy Klaassen to Everton and Davinson Sanchez to Tottenham.
The former Ajax captain Klaassen’s move to Everton has yet to come to fruition with Joey Barton labelling him as “a complete dud” despite being amongst last year’s top ten Eredivisie scorers. Ronald Koeman said he was struggling “from a physical point of view,” but was confident he “is very capable of transitioning to the Premier League eventually.”
Tottenham, however, have a proven track record with Ajax youngsters following Sanchez and Christian Eriksen’s arrivals. Eriksen has cemented his place in the North London team, scoring 31 goals across the last four seasons. Likewise Sanchez has fitted seamlessly into the Spurs squad and has been praised by Eriksen in the matchday program. “He’s developed into a solid and very good centre-back for us. “With the communication at the back – in most of the games it’s been Davinson, Toby and Jan – they’ve done so well and it’s made it easier for us to build attacks.”
If De Jong chooses to make the move across to England, he will obviously need to prove himself in the Premier League. There are plenty of success stories but it is often forgotten how many have flopped, the most recent case being Vincent Janssen, signing for Tottenham following his Dutch ’Talent of the Year’ Award.
The striker scored only twice in his first season with Spurs and has now been loaned out to Fenerbahçe. He was AZ Alkmaar’s most expensive player sold but he could not recreate the same form that saw him named top scorer in the 15/16 season.
The move would also hint at the the revival of the Netherlands international side following their failure to qualify for the World Cup. Last years Europa League Final squad were the youngest on average to appear at that stage of the competition suggesting this won’t be the last import from the former World Club Team of the Year winners. The question remains, however, which side would De Jong choose to join?
Manchester City would be the obvious choice following their dominating performances in the Premier League and Champions League. After such an active summer transfer window for the Citizens, the worry for De Jong would be regular football, not that Arsenal would guarantee that either.
Both clubs are abundant with talent already and the skilled youngster will want to continue his progression, including playing for his national side and in the Champions League. If he chooses to move , irrelevant of which club he chooses, his future is one to watch out for.