One of the most talented young left-backs in Europe, Mitchel Bakker should finally make his first-team debut for Ajax this season. 

  • By Michael Bell
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Born just north of Amsterdam, Bakker was drafted into the Ajax academy at a young age to follow in the footsteps of his father Edwin. He was a talented midfielder, who made one appearance for Ajax in the 80’s and had spells with Groningen and Haarlem before injury cut short his career.

His son, Mitchel has grown through the academy in Amsterdam quickly and made his debut at U19 level aged 16. During the 2016/17 season, he was a regular for the U19’s and made five appearances in the UEFA Youth League as Ajax reached the quarter-finals. Last season, Bakker made his professional debut for Jong Ajax and made 15 appearances as they lifted the Eerste Divisie title. He was also a regular at U19 level but failed to make his debut for the first team despite being named on the bench for 12 Eredivisie matches.

Bakker is currently a Netherlands U18 international having represented his country regularly since the age of 15. He was part of the Oranje side that reached the U17 European Championship quarter-finals in 2017.

Style of Play

Bakker is regarded as one of the finest young left-backs produced in the Netherlands over the last few years and is also capable of switching into the centre of defence.

Tall, strong and built like a house, Bakker is an intimidating figure for attackers in the youth game and is well suited for the physicality of first-team football despite only being 18-years-old.

Athletic and an excellent tackler, Bakker is strong defensively but he also likes to venture forward at any chance. The youngster has bags of pace and is comfortable on the ball which allows him to glide past opponents on the wing, while his height also makes him a threat from set pieces.

What to expect from Bakker this season

Bakker will have been disappointed not to have made his first team debut last season after getting so close on several occasions. However, he should be given his chance at some point this season and will look to prove he is the natural successor to Nicolas Tagliafico.

The 18-year-old is an exceptional talent and one that has a bright future with Ajax and the Dutch national team. He just needs the chance to make his breakthrough. For now, he may have to settle for being the starting left-back for Jong Ajax.

Michael Bell (59 Posts)