David Neres focus: Is he the next Luis Suarez at Ajax?
ดูบอลออนไลน์ World Football Index provide us with their unique perspective on the global game via their network of reporters across the planet. In this column, they look at Ajax star David Neres, who could become the next big thing from Brazil...
Brazil's 2017 South America U20 Championship squad were not the typical team of stars that followers of the nation's youth teams have become accustomed to. While there may have been a glimmer of stardust in areas of the squad, they certainly were not a team.
They made hard work of the first group stage, defeating hosts Ecuador but losing to Colombia and participating in a thoroughly un-Brazilian 0-0 draw with Chile. They went 3-0 up against Paraguay but almost fell apart late on in the game as the opposition mounted a comeback to make the final score 3-2.
The second group stage was not much of an improvement. They won just one of their five games, and another 0-0 draw, this time against a poor Colombia side, meant they failed to qualify for the 2017 U20 World Cup later in the year. ดูบอลออนไลน์
However, team performance does not concern most scouts attending the competition, and the then 19-year-old winger, David Neres, had already done enough to convince Ajax that he would be right for them.
The Eredivisie champions announced his signing during the tournament, and he joined them for €15m (£13m) at the end of the January transfer window.
Ajax scout, Hans van der Zee, had been alerted to the player and later took in games at the aforementioned South America U20 Championship to see if his initial instincts were correct. He saw attributes which would fit perfectly at Ajax, and they signed Neres for a club-record fee for a South American.
Director of football Marc Overmars said: "Neres is a player whom we've had our eye on for a while. He's one of the biggest talents in South America, and it's great that he chose Ajax.
"He's a right winger who can also play on the left flank, which is what we need. He's just 19 and he'll need to adjust to being here, but I believe that we'll already be able to enjoy his talents this year.
"It's a known fact that we're tight in terms of wingers and we have many important games coming up. That's why I'm happy that he'll be in Amsterdam soon, and we don't have to wait until the summer." ดูบอลออนไลน์
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