Everton have had a busy week in the transfer market with a new goalkeeper and Ajax’s Davy Klaassen. But will he be a magic midfielder or a Merseyside misfit?
After six years of playing for his boyhood club Ajax, Davy Klaassen has decided the time is right to move on. Premier League side Everton has secured the services of the 23-year-old on a 5-year-contract for €27M, making him the sixth most expensive Dutch footballer in history.
Everton is certainly a step forward on a sporting front but also provides an upgrade on the financial side of the game. Klaassen will earn up to €4M-a-year, which is four times his earnings at Ajax.
In the Merseyside club, Klaassen might have found the perfect place to develop into a better player. It was quite apparent that the Netherlands international had outgrown the Dutch league, hitting double figures from a midfield position.
It's a great honour to be joining this amazing team. I am very excited and can't wait to start this new journey!? pic.twitter.com/1OBexzv9Eg
— Davy Klaassen (@DavyKlaassen) June 16, 2017
Big performances in Ajax’s impressive Europa League 2016/17 campaign also emphasized Klaassen’s priceless value to the side. It made Italian giants Napoli trying to purchase him last summer as well. Klaassen opted against it. This time around, Everton has convinced the former Ajax captain, despite the fact that they don’t offer Champions League football. Something Napoli does offer.
One factor that might have played in Everton’s favour is the man in charge; Ronald Koeman. The Dutch legend, undoubtedly, has a big appeal to many footballers originating from his native country. Klaassen is a good example of that and a good relationship could only stimulate Klaassen’s chances of success in England.
What does Everton get in Davy Klaassen?
If you ask 100 people to summarize the English game in a few words, “high energy” would be the answer of many. And it’s a box Davy Klaassen certainly ticks. He has never been the most technically gifted player, nor the least, but more than makes up for it with his tireless work ethic. It makes him a player loved by coaches and fans.
Another characteristic of Klaassen is his goal scoring abilities and especially his tendency to do so in big moments. It’s something The Toffees, apart from the departing Romelu Lukakau, are lacking.
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) June 15, 2017
The next Vincent Janssen or Ruud van Nistelrooy?
The everlasting dilemma for English clubs when signing someone from the Dutch league is that it’s never sure how they will do in the Premier League, regardless of the numbers they hit in Holland. The most recent example is Vincent Janssen, who came over from AZ Alkmaar after scoring 25+ goals in 2015/16. Fast forward 12 months and we can safely say Janssen has been the biggest flop in recent Premier League history.
If Klaassen will fall in the same category? I don’t think so. The difference between Janssen and Klaassen is that while the former had one good season in the Eredivisie and immediately moved on, the latter has proven himself as one of the best players in the league for four years. It means he will arrive with more experience and a bigger status than Janssen did.
€27M is a lot of money but for a midfielder who has proven himself in Europe, it might turn out to be a bargain.