Frenkie de Jong adapted well after his step up from Willem II to Ajax and is now aiming for a place in the first team.

  • By Chaka Simbeye
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Frenkie De Jong joined Ajax from Tilburg based side Willem II where he was already training in the first team and on the brink of becoming a fixture there before he moved to Amsterdam. A player whose technical ability and tactical variety make him standout from his peers as he can play at the base of midfield, as a deep-lying playmaker and also as a 10 and everything in between. A few months from his move to Amsterdam and he joined Peter Bosz and his squad in pre-season as he left a long-lasting impression on Jaap Stam and most people involved at the Ajax academy. Ajax had to fend off PSV Eindhoven for his services and it was well worth the effort as they have an unearthed a real gem.

Playing style

His ability as a conductor cannot be understated as the way he manipulates the ball and space makes it seem as if he was born and bred in De Toekomst. Every pass he places is laced with guile, precision and purpose while when he has the ball at his feet, his eyes searching and his head on swivel then he can pull anything out of his repertoire of skills, be it an elastic piece of skill, a nonchalant no-look pass or he can take the opportunity on himself. There are few players as multi-faceted as him technically while he possesses such a mastery of the ball and unique interpretation of space that he can play anywhere across the midfield and be effective. He isn’t physically imposing or gifted athletically but his sheer brilliance from a technical standpoint covers the rest up as there are few players as intuitive as him. The line-breaking passes come to him naturally while he seems to do things unintentionally that erupt into a moments of brilliance but everything about this player is subtle. As a 6, his distribution is like no other while as a 10, his vision alone will peel defences apart.

What does the future hold for De Jong?

Riechedly Bazoer, Nemanja Gudelj, Davy Klaassen, Daley Sinkgraven and even Jairo Riedewald, Donny Van De Beek and Abdelhak Nouri are ahead of him in the pecking order in midfield so he will spend another season with Jong Ajax in the Eerste Divisie but will be one of their biggest prospects. Peter Bosz is implementing his methods of high pressing and ball circulation on Ajax in 4-3-3/3-4-3 hybrid and De Jong’s participation in pre-season could help him as he looks to make the adjustment from Jong Ajax to Ajax 1. He will also play in the Oranje U19s or Jong Oranje as there will also be a changing of the guard for Holland at youth level. One thing is abundantly clear, De Jong is worth your attention!

Chaka Simbeye (69 Posts)