Jaïro Riedewald 20 Defender Ajax Netherlands
Jaïro Riedewald is the archetypal product of the Ajax youth academy. Excellent on the ball, incredibly sound tactical awareness and all-round a much better footballer than we could ever dream to be. Thanks to his footballing education he is capable of doing a very good job at both left-back or holding in midfield; though it is at centre-back that he will cement himself into the Ajax team in the next two or three years.
A positive player, Riedewald likes to set attacks in motion when he has the ball – either by striding out of defence in possession or pinging a ball over the top for a forward to chase. That forward thinking does means he tends to step out of the defensive line and towards opposition attacks quite often. As a result, he can be the cause of a few caught breaths when it doesn’t work – but we’ll chalk that off to youthful exuberance for now as we’re in a good mood.
His natural height and strength helps him do the actual defending part of his job with relative ease.
2016 has been…
The last 12 months haven’t been the greatest for Riedewald. Last season was ended three months early because of an ankle injury and the required surgery to fix it. Since then he hasn’t played a great deal of football.
Though if you consider the lengthy spell on the sidelines to end last term and the disjointed pre-season preparation that will have come from regaining his confidence on that injured ankle, the fact that Riedewald has played more and more in the last few weeks is probably bang on schedule.
Because of the arrival of a new head coach in Peter Bosz who he will need to win over and new signing Davinson Sanchez settling into the team quite quickly, Jaïro’s journey back has been tougher than it might have been under Frank De Boer. We feel confident for the lad he’ll be a regular again before the end of February.
This probably isn’t the time but is there any indication that missing three to four months with injury is generally better for a young player in their overall development as it allows them to focus on preparing their bodies to maintain life as a professional athlete? An advantageous rest perhaps? Answers on a postcard.
Jaïro strikes us as the sort of centre-back who will be at his very best when playing with confidence oozing out of him. Back straight, chest out and a spring in his step. Battling back from injury won’t suit him.
Riedewald needs minutes back on the pitch for now. To ensure he gets back to up to the level he was at previously, but also to help him improve as a player and work on those impulsive tackles that tend to cause worry for his team-mates around him.
He’ll have been buoyed by the chance he got to play in the senior Dutch team and given their recent shambles of a qualifying campaign; there is no reason why he can’t become a regular in the squads. His first three performances were unspectacular which was just about right for a 19-year old being given a chance. He has the potential to go very far indeed.
D Don’t get ahead of yourself and you’ll be brilliant
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