Riechedly Bazoer (€12 million) (7/20)

At the age of just nine, Riechedly Bazoer was swept up by PSV from amateur club USV Elinkwijk in his hometown of Utrecht. PSV fed and nurtured his obvious talents for six years before Ajax came in and snatched him away into their own significantly more renowned and productive youth academy, despite concrete interest from big spenders Manchester City. His decision to join Ajax was based on advice from his mother. She believed he was too young to move abroad and would be better suited developing in an environment he was more comfortable with and used to.

Bazoer began his footballing career as a tough tackling central defender but Ajax had different ideas. They saw his future as a tall and physical, yet elegant central midfielder and dropped him straight into the heart of the Jong Ajax midfield for their opening game of the 2013/14 season against SC Telstar.

Starting off playing for Jong Ajax, and eventually the first team, Bazoer continued to enhance his already vast skill set. He developed into a physically imposing, athletic box-to-box midfielder with a strong range of passing, a high level of footballing intelligence, and a powerful long to mid-range shot which stung the palms of many an Eredivisie goalkeeper.

It wasn’t long before the up-and-coming Ajax star was a regular in the first team, with European giants such as Barcelona and Chelsea’s metaphorical eyes firmly fixated on his every move. Similar playing styles and the inevitable media hype surrounding a technically gifted teenager playing for Ajax led to many dubbing him the Dutch Paul Pogba and slapping a €20 million price tag on his youthful head.

Despite the media attention and becoming a regular first teamer throughout the 2015/16 season under Frank de Boer, Bazoer found first team football hard to come by under new manager Peter Bosz. A questionable attitude and some poor performances alongside the strong performances of Hakim Ziyech and Davy Klaassen were the reasons behind his lack of opportunities under De Boer’s successor. This eventually paved the way for his €12 million move to Wolfsburg in December 2016 where he is currently reigniting his career.

Although Bazoer left Ajax remembered as a hugely talented kid who didn’t quite make it he also left us with some much fonder memories. His delicious, out swinging thunderbolt against Feyenoord will forever strike fear into the hearts of the De Kuip faithful and leave nothing but sweet, sweet memories for Ajax fans to recall on a rainy day. Another derby memory that will never be forgotten is the horrible reception Bazoer received on his return to the Philips Stadion, and not just on the iPhone hurled at him from the stands, but from the enraged supporters sat in them too as Ajax cruised to a glorious 3-1 victory silencing the entire ground.