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6 Ajax Players That Could Star in the Premier League

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterFebruary 23, 2012

6 Ajax Players That Could Star in the Premier League

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    Manchester United have beaten Ajax 3-2 on aggregate to advance in the UEFA Europa League.

    It was, however, far from comfortable.

    Ajax went to Old Trafford and won on the night, but were unable to overcome a 2-0 deficit from the first leg.

    What we saw was a quality Ajax team full of young, talented stars. The kind of the team that, should it be left to grow together, could become a European heavyweight.

    We all know that won't happen though, as the team will be ripped apart by the bigger clubs on the continent.

    Here are six Ajax players who, should they move to English Premier League, would excel and excite.

Jan Vertonghen

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    Age: 24

    Nationality: Belgian

    Position: Central defence, defensive midfield

    Jan Vertonghen has frequently been linked with Premier League clubs in the past, so this name will be no revelation to you. 

    The Belgian beast is a solid central defender who tends to maraud forward and attack when possible. Think David Luizonly far more rational with significantly less hair.

    Vertonghen has acquired over 30 caps for his national team and looks a shoe-in to reach a century. He is one of the reasons Belgium will be a true force at the FIFA World Cup 2014.

    Manchester City have checked on him before, and both Manchester United and Arsenal will be on the look out for central defensive reinforcements this summer.

    Jan Vertonghen and Thomas Vermaelen for Belgium and Arsenal?

Toby Alderweireld

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    Age: 22

    Nationality: Belgian

    Position: Central defence (can fill in at defensive midfield, left-back and right-back)

    Toby Alderweireld is Jan Vertonghen's capable and promising central defensive partner.

    He's also Belgian, and swaps with Thomas Vermaelen between centre-back and left-back whilst on international duty.

    Alderweireld is a well rounded, skilled player. His passing is very good and fills in well at defensive midfield.

    He's not as good as Vertonghen, yet, but still represents an attractive prospect in the transfer window this summer.

    Oh, and he scored tonight!

Christian Eriksen

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    Age: 20

    Nationality: Danish

    Position: Central midfield

    Christian Eriksen was all the rage in January as Roberto Mancini's Manchester City checked in on him and considered a biduntil the Danish playmaker stated he refused to sit on the bench.

    Tonight against Manchester United, Eriksen acquitted himself well by using the ball wisely and creating avenues whilst not in possession.

    He has the potential to be one of the best in his position. His first touch is sublime and his short game is already above average.

    What Eriksen needs is a quality striker who peels off the shoulder of defenders to feed. He'd fit in well at United slipping balls in for Javier Hernandez, wouldn't he?

Siem de Jong

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    Age: 23

    Nationality: Dutch

    Position: Central midfield, centre forward

    Siem de Jong could not be more different from his name sake and compatriot, Nigel de Jong.

    The Dutch attacker can play up front, in the hole or hold the centre of a 4-4-2 formation.

    He and Christian Eriksen represent true guile in Ajax's midfield, but de Jong has the ability and the awareness to play in several positions due to his creativity and footballing brain. 

    His deft touch bagged him an assist for Ajax's first goal against Manchester United.

Gregory Van Der Wiel

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    Age: 24

    Nationality: Holland

    Position: Right-back

    Absent tonight and sorely missed, Gregory van der Wiel's reputation precedes him and he doesn't need to prove he can mix it with the big boys.

    He was a standout performer during Holland's World Cup run in South Africa 2010, when they reached the final and lost in extra time.

    The Dutch right-back combines pace, stamina and positional awareness with attacking flair and bite in the tackle. 

    He can run, he can cross, he can tackle: He's a proper footballer.

    Premier League teams are stocked are right-back for the moment, but if Sergio Ramos's long term future is at centre-back, could van der Wiel slot in nicely at Real Madrid?

Miralem Sulejmani

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    Age: 23

    Nationality: Serbian

    Position: Attacking midfield, central forward, either wing.

    Miralem Sulejmani, whilst not having the best of games against Manchester United, is another capable player with the power of versatility in his hands.

    He can play through the middle, on either wing or as a central striker. His ability to play so many positions makes him both unpredictable and difficult to track.

    He is the type of player that fits well into modern systems, which frequently demand players to swap positions in order to make life hard for defences.

    His pace, technique and close control are major selling points, and if he works on his crossing, he'll be a phenomenal player in the future.

    Follow me on twitter for world football articles: @stighefootball

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