The curious case of Neres and Kluivert

God, I hate international breaks. Literally nothing interesting at all happened, except for maybe Deadline Day, which was thoroughly unexciting for Ajax-fans all around the globe. Meanwhile, I am just counting down the days to our return to competitive football, coming Saturday in the Arena against PEC Zwolle. Who have started their season better than we did ours, by the way. But I have said enough about that.

So, scratching the bottom of the bottle for subjects, I decided to compare our two right wingers for the coming season. Both incredibly talented, but also both completely different cases. David Neres is a Brazilian almost-record-signing who is both exciting and infuriating to watch according to most fans. Justin Kluivert is the guy who has won their battle easily so far. But why exactly?

When Keizer was asked about why Neres was not involved that much at the start of the season, he replied that he thought the Brazilian didn’t do enough defending. From the beginning, I thought that was a ridiculous statement. For a young Brazilian winger, Neres does a tremendous amount of defending. It may not all fit a structured system, but he is prepared to work his socks off both attacking and defending.

I also think he offers more offensively than Kluivert, who is very exciting to watch, but doesn’t provide that much in goals and assists. Neres is almost always threatening and played extremely well against both Nice and VVV, where he was responsible for the turnaround that happened when the second half started.

But why is Kluivert that much more liked by both Keizer and our fans? It’s easy to digest why. First of all, Neres is very, very easy to hate. He has a very lackluster and laconic appearance, and often sends out the vibe he doesn’t really want to be there. Also, he is a very expensive player, and the Dutch love to rip on those to see what they are made from. Ask Sulejmani. Ask Suárez. Ask Ibrahimovic. When you’re expensive, people want you to fail.

Kluivert has the exact opposite. He has loved Ajax ever since he was young, and has the exactly right last name. He has a tremendous amount of credit with both the fans and the manager, even though his contribution is actually limited when you compare him to Neres. Also, he is a left winger (and has said so repeatedly that he is), and is played out of position because for some reason Amin Younes has to play. But hey, that’s just me.

Written by Lukas Schroder

Lukas writes every Wednesday for AjaxDaily. His love for Ajax is only transcended by his hate for Nemanja Gudelj. Got called 'The worst writer of all time' on Twitter once. Wears that like a badge.