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Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly taken an interest in Ajax midfielder and Barcelona target Frenkie de Jong.
According to Neil Fissler of the Sunday Express, Spurs have been impressed with the youngster’s breakthrough into the Ajax team and will monitor his development. It’s added that the Blaugrana and Borussia Dortmund have been keeping an eye on De Jong, who is said to be rated at around £40 million.
“Tottenham will continue to keep tabs on de Jong, who was voted Eredivise talent of the season in 2017 and is tipped to win full international honours in the near future,” added Fissler. “Barcelona had De Jong on their radar over the summer as they sought to add another midfielder to Ernesto Valverde’s squad.”
As noted in the report, despite the interest from some massive clubs across European football, De Jong has made it clear he is happy to stay in Amsterdam for another season yet. Ajax are back in the UEFA Champions League this term, where they will face Bayern Munich, AEK Athens and Benfica.
Another campaign with Ajax should allow De Jong more time to develop. Ajax joked on their Twitter account that they were able to keep some of their star players past the transfer deadline despite interest from big clubs:
It’s not a shock to see so many huge names linked with De Jong, though, as he’s excelled since cementing a place in the Ajax side.
The youngster moved to the Amsterdam giants in 2015, having spent his youth career at Willem II. He’s now settled into life at Ajax, though, and is a young player with skills that align well with the classic mantras of the football club.
On the ball he is decisive and inventive, while out of possession he’s showcased exceptional appreciation of positioning, especially given he’s still in the nascent stages of his career; he’s played as both a central defender and a midfielder in the senior side.
Per Squawka Football, the Netherlands youth international is a difficult man to take the ball from:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Frenkie de Jong has a higher take-on success rate (93.4%) than any other player in the Eredivisie to complete 50+ take-ons since 2017/18. 61 of his 65 take-ons completed. 😳 https://t.co/OgFZrrHujE
He’d tick a lot of boxes for Tottenham. In midfield they would benefit from another assured and energetic presence; De Jong’s ability to mesh technical ability and tenacity would make him a perfect fit for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Spurs didn’t sign anyone in the previous transfer window, although they’ve started the Premier League season well. Prior to their meeting with Watford on Sunday, they’d won all three of their matches, including a 3-0 win at Manchester United.
In January Pochettino may be looking to bolster his squad if Spurs are in contention for major honours. However, you sense De Jong would be tough to prise away from Ajax mid-season, meaning any potential move will likely come next summer.