Photo: Reinand Visscher

Mees de Wit: Old fashioned winger

Mees de Wit is part of what is considered to be a dying breed of football player: a left-footed left winger. In a time where most left wingers seem to be right-footed, it is somewhat refreshing to see a player like Mees rushing down the left wing and swinging in a cross.

Mees’ playing style is comparable to Nicolás Gaitán’s or Douglas Costa’s: technically gifted with a strong emphasis on sending in crosses from the left flank. Although he lacks the sheer pace Douglas Costa possesses, he is quite quick off the mark on short distances.

De Wit joined the Ajax academy after showcasing his talent at his hometown club FC Weesp at the age of 8. The left winger linked up with the E3 and subsequently worked his way up to the Ajax u19 side last season. Even though this might sound like the start of a promising Ajax career, his future at the club was far from certain. His footballing skills were beyond doubt, but inconsistent performances made the club doubt his mental resilience.

This was fuelled by the fact that De Wit lived only with his father who suffered a heart attack and requires medical attention at home. Ajax, unaware of his home situation, saw no future in him and were reluctant to offer him his first professional contract, effectively turning him into a free agent.

In November 2016, De Wit collaborated with football agent and personal coach Stefano van Delden, who ensured a stable situation at home. This allowed him to fully focus on his professional football career and getting consistent performances. During the 2016/17 season, De Wit scored 8 and assisted 6 in a total of 921 minutes played divided over 21 matches. This translates to roughly 65 minutes per goal or assist.

In the month of April in 2017, following an impressive string of performances, De Wit finally earned his first professional contract at the club. The winger signed a one-year deal, giving him time to prove himself at Jong Ajax in the Jupiler League. And while last season was one with ups and downs, his performances during the second half of the season might give him the confidence to excel at Jong Ajax the coming year.