Great expectations as Schuurs looks to live the Ajax dream

Ajax director of football Marc Overmars has been fulsome in his praise of the prodigious talent. Suitors, including Premier League big guns Liverpool (Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund also kept tabs) lined up to court him, but it was Ajax who snared Perr Schuurs in what could turn out to be a fantastic bit of business.

Now the stage is set for Schuurs to live up to the hype, to try to handle the weight of expectation and flourish under the tutelage of head coach Erik ten Hag. Ajax swooped for central defender Schurrs, who stands at 6’ 3”, back in January after he dazzled aged just 17 for second-tier outfit Fortuna Sittard.

Indeed, such was the level of his commanding displays, he was made captain of the team. After joining Ajax, he was then loaned back to the club to see out the season and, hopefully, continue his development.

This summer he will come back into the fold and be ready to try to repay the faith shown in him by Overmars and others after he penned a four-and-a-half-year deal at the Amsterdam Arena.

His assured performances, in which he was clearly brimming with confidence, had led to Jurgen Klopp sanctioning a trial for the robust youngster and it is said that he impressed Anfield scouts. But Ajax took the plunge first to secure the player and it would appear that the Sons of the Gods’ gain is the Merseyside giants’ loss. Schurrs is said to have turned down contracts at both PSV Eindhoven and RB Leipzig at this point.

At the time, former Arsenal attacker Overmars said of the new recruit: “He knows what is required of him to be able to reach the top. The fact that he is already captain at Fortuna Sittard at this young age also says something about his personality. We are pleased that we have been able to sign this great Dutch talent.”

To say that a move to Ajax was a dream come true isn’t to overstate the switch. On completing his move, he said: “It is a dream to be able to play at a top club like Ajax. There were several clubs interested and I also spoke with other clubs, but my feeling at Ajax was immediately very good. I think that’s important.”

Another player signed back in January and who was loaned back to his club is Boureima Hassane Bandé, who is aged 19. He agreed a five-year contract to make the move from minnows KV Mechelen and is now poised to break into the first team ahead of the new campaign.

The Burkina Faso goal-getter says the deal means he is progressing: “I’m very pleased with the transfer, because athletically speaking, it’s a step forward.

Overmars revealed Ajax were tracking the forward for some time before making their move to recruit him. He added: “We were following Bandé for a while, and we were not the only ones. We needed to act quickly, but we also wanted to do our homework first. We managed everything. I’m happy that he’s signed.”