After much waiting, the transfer of Jaïro Riedewald from Ajax to English side Crystal Palace has been made official. The club didn’t disclose the fee, but reports have placed the transfer cost at around £7.8 million (~€8.7m). The twenty-year-old ball-playing defender was reportedly unsettled in Amsterdam due to his lack of playing time and has now reunited with former Ajax boss Frank de Boer in London.
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) July 24, 2017
Appearing 93 times for Ajax, Riedewald was known for his versatility, playing as a centre-half, left-back, and defensive midfielder when called upon. His passing and on-the-ball ability are supreme for a player his age and give him the potential to be a superb defender in one of the world’s best leagues. De Boer, quoted on Crystal Palace’s official website, had nothing but praise for his former and newly acquired player: “He will be an excellent addition to our squad, Jairo is a young player but already has a lot of experience. I know he is looking forward to playing in the Premier League.”
Born in Haarlem, Jaïro has represented the Netherlands from the Under-15 level all the way up to the senior national side. It was a surprise to many Ajax fans that Peter Bosz, who had shown confidence in youngsters like Kasper Dolberg and Matthijs de Ligt, didn’t give players like Riedewald and recently-sold Kenny Tete more chances in the first team. Despite the departure of Bosz and arrival of former Jong Ajax manager Marcel Keizer at the helm, Riedewald clearly felt his time in Amsterdam had come to an end.
Speaking about his move, Riedewald said “I am very pleased to be joining Crystal Palace and after speaking with the gaffer a couple of weeks ago I was delighted to have the opportunity to come over and play in the Premier League. It’s is a great competition to be involved in and it is a great opportunity to be working under Frank de Boer once again having been with him at Ajax. I look forward to meeting my new team mates and then getting the chance to be out on the training ground and getting ready for the new season.”
Jaïro Riedewald burst onto the scene in 2013 when he scored two goals off the bench on his Eredivisie debut to give Ajax a victory over Roda JC. Despite only scoring one more goal in his career at Ajax, it was his overall play style that captured the attention of ever-critical supporters of the club. We wish Jaïro the best at his new club.