Football

Anwar El Ghazi is Ajax's latest gem

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It goes without saying that Ajax do indeed possess one of the most admired academies in Europe.

Over the years, with the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Kluivert to name just a few to have come through their youth ranks. The Amsterdammers have certainly established an excellent reputation when it comes down to nurturing promising talents.

Anwar El Ghazi's recent displays strongly suggest he could well become the newest addition to the long list of world-class players to wear the famous red and white jersey.

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His current form has allowed his club to comfortably sit on top of the Eredivisie. In their opening six games, the right-footed winger found the back of the net on seven occasions, making him the most productive Ajax-player since Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Having joined the Dutch record-champions just two years ago from Sparta Rotterdam, El Ghazi was already part of the senior squad last term.

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For his inaugural season with the big boys, he scored an impressive nine goals and produced a whopping eight assists. Despite his remarkable stats, it still wasn't enough to secure Ajax's 34th title as they fell 17 points short of arch-rivals PSV.

However, the youngster's outstanding performances did not go unnoticed as Chelsea, Bayern and Atletico were all linked with possible moves for the gifted Dutchman, over the summer.

El Ghazi represented the Netherlands at youth level (from the Under 17's to the Under 21's). Thanks to his Moroccan roots, the 20-year-old is also eligible to play for the Atlas Lions. However, following his inclusion in Danny Blind's pre-selection for Euro 2016 qualifiers against Kazakhstan and the Czech Republic, the Ajax-star made his decision clear by tweeting:

“I'm very happy with my preselection for Oranje! Thanks to this I have made my choice. I have thoroughly thought about it and I am 100% sure.”

Furthermore, the forward claimed Cristiano Ronaldo played a major role in his decision by advising him to pick the Netherlands:

“Ronaldo said if he were me, he would opt for the Netherlands. He said I had to decide it myself and that people always have an opinion. Choose Netherlands and Moroccans will say I'm not a real Moroccan, opt for Morocco then the Dutch say 'Hey, you're born and raised here, what the hell is that?"

Whilst taking a closer look at El Ghazi, one quickly realises that he isn't your typical frail and agile winger, he's rather more powerful and tall than you would first suspect.

Among a vast array of features, it seems almost impossible to overlook his exceptional dribbling skills.

Furthermore, combined with brilliant balance, flair and a fine first touch, the youngster's pace enables him to dominate most opponents.

Having said this, in order to become one of Europe's finest, El Ghazi still has to improve on several aspects of his game such as concentration, teamwork as well as finishing skills.

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Topics:
European News
Ajax
Football

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