Five facts about Arsenal and Tottenham target Joel Veltman

Ajax

Jack Beresford gives the inside scoop on highly-rated Ajax defender Joel Veltman, who has been linked with a summer move to the Premier League.

Arsenal and Tottenham are reportedly looking to Amsterdam for new recruits with defender Joel Veltman believed to be a key summer transfer target for the two North London clubs.

But what do we actually know about the Dutchman? Jack Beresford finds out more.

1. The 22-year-old was first discovered by the Amsterdam giants playing for his hometown side of VV Ijmuiden in Velten when he was just nine-years-old. Veltman spent the next 11 years coming through the Ajax ranks.

2. Veltman had to overcome a lot of obstacles early in his career which began when, at just 16-years-old, the defender suffered a serious cruciate ligament injury. Even after recovering from that setback, Veltman struggled to make an impact, finding himself on the youth team exit list until a combination of injuries and poor form gave the youngster his big break in the first team.

3. In his early days with Ajax, Veltman garnered an unwanted reputation as something of a cry-baby, after infamously bursting into tears in front of the youth team squad, following a rollicking from one of his coaches. Fortunately his performances and growing maturity have seen Veltman shed this tag.

4. The central defender has risen through the ranks at international level, playing alongside the likes of PSV duo Adam Maher and Georginio Wijnaldum as well as Chelsea prospect Marco Van Ginkel. Since taking on the starring role for Ajax, Veltman has also progressed to the full Oranje national side, with manager Louis Van Gaal calling the player up for recent friendlies against Japan and Colombia.

5. Arsenal and Tottenham face one particular obstacle in their bid to sign Veltman: Marc Overmars. The former Gunners and Barcelona man appears determined to hold on to the defender stating: "We are constantly working on a puzzle and every time you have it almost complete, it can fall apart, because a piece is snapped up…But I will lie in front of the gate when they come for Joel Veltman.”

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