SCOUT REPORT: Who Is Everton’s £23.6m New-Boy Davy Klaassen?

SCOUT REPORT: Who Is Everton’s £23.6m New-Boy Davy Klaassen?
Jun 18, 2017

Everton Featured

Everton recently completed the signing of Dutch midfielder Davy Klaassen from Ajax Amsterdam for a reported £23.6 million. In a statement of intent from Everton for the upcoming Premier League season, the Merseyside club have decided to splash the cash on the Dutch international. Born and raised the ‘Ajax way’, we take a closer look at a man who was likened to Toni Kroos and Xavi Hernández by the legendary Johan Cruyff.

Who Is Davy Klaassen?

This will be the 24-year-old’s first time playing outside the Eredivisie, as he has been at Ajax since he was eleven-years-old. Klaassen was born in Hilversum, 19 miles South-East of Amsterdam, in February 1993. He began his football career in the youth ranks of local amateur side HVV de Zebra’s, where he played until 2003 before joining the Ajax Youth Academy a year later.

Klaassen had a very prolific career at youth level; he won the Nike Eredivisie league while playing for the Ajax A1 youth squad in 2012 as well as leading his side to finish runners-up to Inter Milan in the NextGen Series. He made his first team debut at 17 years-years-old in a UEFA Champions League tie against Olympique Lyon. The Dutchman has been capped at U16, U17, U19 and U21 levels for the Netherlands. He made his international debut at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and has gone on to make 14 appearances for the Oranje.

Klaassen is a highly rated prospect; he won AFC Ajax Talent of the Future in 2011, AFC Ajax Talent of the Year in 2014, Dutch Football Talent of the Year in 2014 and Dutch Footballer of the Year in 2016. Klaassen has been a leader most of his career; he captained various Ajax youth squads and was named Ajax captain two seasons ago. He comes to the Premier League after winning three Eredivisie titles with Ajax, along with a Johan Cruyff Shield winners medal. Klaassen captained Ajax to finish as runners-up in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League final, losing 2-0 to Manchester United.

What Is Klaassen’s Style Of Play?

Klaassen was compared to midfield metronomes Toni Kroos and Xavi, but that does not sum up the midfielders attributes. His output at club level means his style is similar to that of Premier League legend Frank Lampard. Klaassen’s goal scoring statistics from midfield are the first thing to jump out at you. At Ajax, he managed to score 10 or more goals in three of his six seasons at the club; taking into consideration that he made only seven appearances in his first season and spending most of his second season out injured.

The Everton new-boy is a versatile midfielder; he has played throughout the centre of midfield as well as starting a few games on the right wing. Klaassen is primarily an attacking midfielder, though. He donned the number 10 on his shirt during his time at Ajax, however, he is capable of playing in central midfield or in defensive midfield. His versatility in midfield means that he can operate in a double pivot or as part of a midfield trio; setups in midfield that Ronald Koeman often prefers.

Klaassen main attributes are his finishing and attacking movement. Klaassen is a very intelligent midfielder; his movement on and off the ball make him a threat to opponents. He usually operates in a more advanced role; where he combines his technique and finishing to devastating impact. Whether it’s a volley, header or long range shot, Klaassen can provide a variety of finishes.

According to Squawka, out of his last 26 goals in the Dutch league, 23 have come from inside the box.

Klaassen is a hardworking midfielder who is not shy of putting in a tackle and can get physical when he wants to. He has proven to be adept at providing for teammates; laying on 12 assists in all competitions last season.

 Why Are Everton Getting For £23m?

In a recent interview, Ronald Koeman revealed he signed Klaassen to provide creativity and goals from the midfield, something the former Southampton manager has criticised Ross Barkley for. Koeman also mentioned Klaassen’s work rate and the fact that he can operate in a high pressing system. Bringing in Klaassen will also give them an attacking threat from midfield to complement Idrissa Gueye, Morgan Schneiderlin and Tom Davies.

From his criticism of Ross Barkley last season, it is clear that Klaassen has been brought in to provide competition for the Englishman. Off the back of an impressive season in Europe, it may seem that the Dutchman will be one of the first names on Everton’s team sheet next season.

Will The Move Work Out?

After impressing in recent seasons for Ajax, it is strange that no Premier League side showed interest in the midfielder quicker than Everton have. Klaassen is intelligent off the ball, shows great composure and has a fantastic work rate. His goalscoring ability is advanced and he has shown he can physically compete on the ball, which is a plus for Premier League player.

Davy Klaassen’s performances for Ajax Amsterdam in the Dutch league and also in Europe gives us a fair assessment of how he will perform in the Premier League. As always, we should be a bit sceptical of Dutch league exports; which over the past few seasons have shown to be underwhelming when they arrive on English shores. However, Klaassen can follow will follow Moussa Dembélé and Georginio Wijnaldum’s footsteps and establish himself as one of the best midfielders in the league.

You can watch highlights of the Dutchman below:

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