Few at Tottenham Hotspur will be rueing the club’s failure bring former Ajax captain Davy Klaassen to North London in the summer.
The Telegraph reported that the Dutch international was on Mauricio Pochettino’s radar but, since joining Premier League rivals Everton instead, Klaassen has struggled massively to justify his £23.6 million price tag (BBC).
The 24-year-old was hauled off after an appalling first-half performance against Lyon in the Europa League on Thursday and didn’t even make it off the bench in the 5-2 home defeat to Arsenal at the weekend which cost Ronald Koeman his job.
Klaassen scored 14 goals and assisted nine in the Eredivisie for Ajax last season. He’s yet to claim one of either in all competitions for Everton.
Van de Beek a Klaass apart
Ironically, however, it appears that Spurs have now turned their attention to the man who replaced Klaassen in the Ajax midfield. Dutch website Soccer News claims that the latest highly-rated talent to emerge through the Ajax academy, Donny Van de Beek, is on Tottenham’s radar.
And while the 20-year-old is a more defensively minded player than the creative Klaassen, they share attributes typical of a player reared under the club’s Cruyffian principles. Van de Beek is a midfielder of huge technical talent, renowned for his sharp passing, ability to carry the ball from deep and also win it back with typical Ajax pressing.
In truth, Van de Beek, who has started nine league games already this season, looks a far better fit for Tottenham and Klaassen ever did. While his former Ajax skipper tends to drift in and out of games, Van de Beek is the sort of controlling presence that Pochettino demands in the centre of the park.
And if the Dutch Under-21 international can make the same impact in North London as the rest of Spurs’ former Ajax contingent, including Davinson Sanchez, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, he’ll prove a fine addition.