USA Forward Jozy Altidore Draws Interest from Ajax

alex bakerContributor IIIJuly 22, 2010

RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 26:  Jozy Altidore of the United States in action during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between USA and Ghana at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 26, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)
Phil Cole/Getty Images

Dutch powerhouse Ajax are apparently keen on acquiring Villareal and Team USA forward Jozy Altidore. The 20-year-old Altidore led the USA in scoring on its qualification campaign for this summer's World Cup.

However, since moving to Europe two years ago, Altidore has struggled to find the kind of form that earns a player regular first team football. After being loaned out to Spanish lower-division side Xerex for six months, the striker spent last season on loan to English Premiere League side Hull City. With 28 Premiere League appearances, he scored just once and registered only three assists.

Nonetheless, the former NY Red Bulls player showed good form in this summer's World Cup, despite failing to find the back of the net during the tournament. 

Altidore put in an impressive performance and proved himself capable of holding the ball up under pressure from tough opposition. He was particularly impressive acting as a playmaker during the USA's last two group stage matches against Slovenia and Algeria.

Ajax are undoubtedly looking to bolster their offense as it is widely believed that Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez will depart the Amsterdam side during the current transfer window.

While Ajax have expressed interest in acquiring Altidore on loan, sources close to Villareal reveal the Spanish club are more keen on selling the striker outright. Villareal acquired Altidore for $10 million in 2008, but it is believed they may be willing to suffer a slight loss in order to offload the player.

Ajax, with its long history of developing talented young players, would seem an ideal destination for a player of Altidore's talent, who is perhaps yet to realize his full potential.