Ajax has resisted interest in their Samba star this summer so David Neres will once again be lighting up the Johan Cruijff ArenA this season. 

  • By Michael Bell
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Neres joined the Sao Paulo youth academy at the age of ten and made his first-team debut in 2016 as a substitute in a win over Fluminese. By that time the winger was already being watched several times by Ajax scouts, who were clearly impressed by what they saw as after only eight first-team appearances, he made the move to Amsterdam in January 2017 for €12 million.

Ajax switched Neres between the U23 side and first team to allow him to adapt to the Dutch game but he showed signs of great promise with three goals in eight league games.

Last season the winger was part of the first-team picture on a full-time basis and formed a deadly attack with Justin Kluivert and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Of all three, Neres was the most productive, contributing 14 goals and 13 assists in 32 Eredivisie matches, including an excellent performance in a 4-1 win at Feyenoord.

Neres dazzled and it was unsurprising when Borussia Dortmund came calling at the start of the summer, but their €30 million offer wasn’t enough to persuade Ajax to part with their star. Neres has a €50 million asking price, which has also scared of AS Roma.

Style of Play

Neres is considered by many as one of the most talented young wingers in Europe and a future Brazilian international.

The 21-year-old is a right-winger, who loves to cut inside and use his stronger left foot. He doesn’t possess electric speed, but Neres is incredible at shifting the ball at tight spaces and can bamboozle even the best of the Eredivisie’s defences despite not having great pace.

Once Neres gets past his marker he is very productive, either finding a teammate or the net with his pinpoint accuracy and excellent technique.

Not only effective going forward, Neres also provides a screen for the Ajax defence and doesn’t mind dropping back to help out when needed. His fast feet can also help his teammates get out of tricky situations at the back.

What to expect from Neres this season

Neres had an excellent campaign last year and it is not surprising that Ajax had to stave off interest in the Brazilian this summer.

The winger will be aiming to grow his reputation further this season, in what will probably be his final campaign in Amsterdam. A first title-win and chance to impress in European competition will be on his mind, while Nicolas Tagliafico’s call-up to the Argentina squad will give him hope that he could make his debut for Brazil.

Neres is a special talent, and possibly the finest Brazilian attacker to play in the Eredivisie since Ronaldo, so enjoy him in Amsterdam while you can.

Michael Bell (59 Posts)