Ajax’s Anwar El Ghazi Primed For Premier League Transfer

Could Anwar El Ghazi be the next Ajax trained Premier League star? Football.ua [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0), CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Could Anwar El Ghazi be the next Ajax trained Premier League star? Football.ua [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0), CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons /

As the Premier League season steams on towards the January transfer window clubs are scouring the world for the next high impact import. EPL scouts need look no further than the fertile grounds of Ajax to spot a great buy in winger Anwar El Ghazi.

Big clubs around the world looking to Ajax for talent is hardly a new phenomenon. The Dutch club has made a killing off transfers over the past decade and boasts quite a few prospects drawing Premier League interest currently. Curiously, there’s been little chatter about El Ghazi who is their brightest attacking prospect.

The 20-year-old right-winger boasts the third highest Whoscored.com rating in Eredivisie and has knocked in eight goals in just nine appearances on the season. There can be no doubt his production justifies interest from every club in the Premier League.

It’s more than what he’s produced in Eredivisie though. Success in the Dutch League doesn’t always translate to the Premier League so scouts must look deeper into El Ghazi’s game to see his real quality. Featured mostly as an attacking right-winger for Ajax, he excels at cutting in from the wing and unleashing dangerous efforts at goal. He has the rare combination of pace, skill on the ball and the ability to win aerial duels. This makes him a handful for opposing defenses.

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He also has the ability to contribute a quality cross from the wing. It’s hard not to compare his game to another winger of North African descent, Ryad Mahrez. This isn’t to say that he’s ready to enter the Premier League and be its best player as Mahrez has done. It does illustrate the type of ceiling El Ghazi has though. He has that kind of attacking flair and impact on the game.

In the interest of a fair evaluation, El Ghazi does share something else with Mahrez. Neither is all that helpful on the defensive end of the pitch. El Ghazi does have a tendency to drift out of the game when his team isn’t on the ball, but that’s not uncommon for prodigious offensive prospects of his age. This could be worked out with additional coaching and the best teacher of all, time.

There isn’t a team in the EPL who couldn’t use a player of El Ghazi’s quality. While he likely isn’t of supreme interest for financial heavyweights Chelsea, United, City and Arsenal, he should be chased by everyone else. The best options for him would be to find his way to an ambitious club like Liverpool or Tottenham where he wouldn’t necessarily need to play right away. This would give him time to settle into the squad and the English game, while giving him a taste of meaningful play if he proved ready.

Look for the rumor mill to crank up on El Ghazi and numerous Ajax players over the next few weeks. El Ghazi might not be the Ajax player most likely to end up with the Premier League come January, but he’d represent the best bit of business for a number of British clubs.