Antonucci leaves Ajax academy for AS Monaco

January means no football in Holland. Not just in the Eredivisie, Jupiler League and all of the other senior leagues in the football pyramid, but also in the youth leagues. Instead, it’s the time of potential transfers, sparse friendlies and lots of practices. Not a good time for a football-obsessed person, like me.

In terms of moves, the Toekomst has already had it’s fair share. Most notable departure is Franco Antonucci, leaving for Monaco. The young playmaker signed from Anderlecht in 2015, joining up with the U17’s and showed amazing dribbling skills during his time in Amsterdam. He wasn’t just skilled with the ball at his feet, though; having the uncanny ability to find his teammates and set them up for goals. Last, but certainly not least, he also knew how to score from distance, netting from 30 or even 40 yards out.

Despite all those qualities, managers did not see “it” in him and he didn’t play a whole lot of games last season. This season started out better, with him starting regularly under Aron Winter. However, behind the screens the Belgian youngster wasn’t happy and didn’t feel trust from the coaches. Disappointed by the situation, he has chosen for pastures anew in France with Ajax earning a decent €3 million fee in the process.

On the flip-side, Schön Szabolcs has finally joined the club after a long period of waiting. The midfielder has been linked to the club since the summer, but couldn’t sign a deal until the end of September, when he turned 16. He will likely join the U17 side, where he will be reunited with his former team-mate Oliver Horvath, whom also joined from the Hungarian Football Academy in the past summer. With Ricardo Farcas also in the U17’s, he’s the third foreign signing for them this year.

And then, to finish this rather quiet week up, some news regarding the first team. Having set foot in Amsterdam again, after the training camp, Ajax had their first team practice of 2017 today. Joining up with the senior squad was Justin Kluivert, whom also tagged along in Portugal the past week. The youngster showed himself frequently and netted a goal in the final training game, leaving a good impression on Bosz.