The next top talent made by Ajax: van Axel Dongen a “very special player”

By FPL360
The next top talent made by Ajax: van Axel Dongen a “very special player”


Talents Calendar 

When you are seen as a big talent by one of the best academy clubs in the world, then the likelihood of you having a big career in football is extremely high. Amourricho van Axel Dongen falls into that category. The 17-year-old was voted the talent of the year in De Toekomst, Ajax Amsterdam‘s famous youth academy. That award puts the 17-year-old left-winger in the same category as Matthijs de Ligt, Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder, Johnny Heitinga and Christian Eriksen. Current Ajax talents Ryan Gravenberch, Naci Ünüvar, who was part of 2019’s talents calendar, and Devyne Rensch received the award as well.

Even though the Abdelhak Nouri Trofee, as Ajax’s talent price is called, was also won by players that failed. to have a great career, later on, Murat Yildirim, Donovan Slijngard, and Damon Mirani, for example, van Axel Dongen, has everything it takes to make it to the upper reaches of international football. “He is quick, has a great technique and a fantastic vision,” Ajax Amsterdam’s head of the youth academy Saïd Ouaali said after the U18 national team player received the award. “In particular, his ability to control the ball under pressure in small spaces makes him a very special player.” 

Talents Calendar - van Axel Dongen

Thanks to those qualities, van Axel Dongen has quickly made his way at Ajax and into the notebooks of several international top clubs. Chelsea, Manchester City, and Manchester United wanted to sign Amsterdam’s talent, but Ajax managed to convince van Axel Dongen to stay at the club and sign a contract that will keep him at the club until 2023. “My goal was always to stay at the club,” the winger said after signing his new contract as a then 15-year-old. “I want to be successful at Ajax.” Staying at the Dutch champion has been worth it. Just months after signing his contract, van Axel Dongen gave his debut as a 16-year-old.  

Talents Calendar 2020: Here is how the players have developed

Juan Cabrera | Germany | Market value: –

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Schalke’s Juan Cabrera was listed as Uruguayan in last year’s Talents Calendar. Since then he has opted for Germany.

Pipi Nakai | Japan | Market value: –

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Pipi Nakai has made the next step at Real Madrid and is now part of the reserve team. But he is still awaiting his debut in Spain’s third division.

Bradley Fink | Switzerland | Market value: –

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Youssoufa Moukoko’s footsteps were not too big: Bradley Fink has been scoring consistently for Dortmund’s U19 side.

Alejandro Iturbe | Spain | Market value: –

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Alejandro Iturbe is slowly being integrated into Atlético Madrid’s first team and has already made the bench once.

Ramen Cepele | Albania | Market value: –

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Ramen Cepele has struggled with some smaller injuries but nonetheless has already featured for Hannover 96 II in the Regionalliga.

Turan Calhanoglu | Germany | Market value: –

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2021 has been a year to forget for Turan Calhanoglu. Hakan Calhanoglu’s cousin struggled with injuries all seasons long.

Kelvin John | Tanzania | Market value: €100,000

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“As soon as I turn 18, I will move to a big club“, said Kelvin John last year. Promise kept, the forward joined KRC Genk ahead of the season.

Bikash Yumnam | India | Market value: €100,000

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Bikash Yumnam continues his dream of moving to Europe. But it has been baby steps for the RoundGlass Punjab FC defender.

Simon Ngapandouetnbu | France | Market value: €150,000

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Born in Cameroon Simon Ngapandouetnbu has opted for France and is still awaiting his debut for Olympique Marseille’s senior team.

Seong-jin Kang | South Korea | Market value: €225,000

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Seong-jin Kang has not just become a regular starter for FC Seoul but an important first team player.

Kluiverth Aguilar | Peru | Market value: €300,000

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That Kluiverth Aguilar would move to Europe was already certain last year. Signed by Manchester City, the right-back is currently under contract at Lommel SK, which also is part of the City Group.

Xavi Simons | Netherlands | Market value: €500,000

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For Xavi Simons the last season was a mixed back. First close to the first team, the talented attacking midfielder has been ignored by Mauricio Pochettino and is currently considering a transfer to another club.

Tommaso Baldanzi | Italy | Market value: €600,000

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Tommaso Baldanzi led FC Empoli’s U19 to the championship in the Primavera and is now part of the first team.

Marcelo Flores | Mexico | Market value: €600,000

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Mexiko, Canada or England: For now Marcelo Flores the talented midfielder has opted for Mexico’s U20 but it is expected that Flores will await a final decision as Canada remains in the mix to secure the services of the 18-year-old.

Ömer Beyaz | Turkey | Market value: €1 million

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In Ömer Beyaz another talented player found the way to the Bundesliga. The 18-year-old Turkish talent has joined VfB Stuttgart.

Patryck | Brazil | Market value: €1 million

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U17 world championPatryck is part of FC São Paulo’s first team but for now still without a game.

Louie Barry | England | Market value: €1 million

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Former Barça talent Louie Barry has made his debut for Aston Villa but is currently on loan at Ipswich Town.

Loizos Loizou | Cyprus | Market value: €1.5 million

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Loizos Loizou has already won his first title with Omonia Nicosia but a transfer to a bigger league has yet to materialize.

Hannibal Mejbri | Tunisia | Market value: €3m

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Hannibal Mejbri is the third player in the calendar to switch national teams. Previously with France, the Man United talent has since made the switch to Tunisia.

Luca Oyen | Belgium | Market value: €3m

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Luca Oyen continues to collect playing time with the first team but has struggled to show the sort of consistency he displayed last season.

Caden Clark | USA | Market value: €3.5 million

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Not surprising Caden Clark will join RB Leipzig this winter. This year the 18-year-old played his first full season with New York Red Bulls with whom he was eliminated in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Ísak Bergmann Jóhannesson | Iceland | Market value: €4.5 million

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Ísak Bergmann Jóhannesson has made the next step in his career and has joined FC Copenhagen.

Arsen Zakharyan | Russia | Market value: €9 million


Arsen Zakharyan has developed into a top talent under head coach Sandro Schwarz at Dinamo Moscow and is one of the most important players at the club.

Yusuf Demir | Austria | Market value: €12 million

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Yusuf Demir has fulfilled his wish and joined FC Barcelona where he has already made his debut for the first team.

Youth coach: van Axel-Dongen has “to make step to Ajax 1” 

The pandemic has meant that youth football in the Netherlands has been limited, which means the attacking player has not played many games for the U18. The coach of Jong Ajax (Ajax II), Mitchell van der Gaag, therefore decided to take on the talent and started him last May when he was only 16 in the game against De Graafschap (1-1). Van Axel Dongen played on his favorite position at left-wing and assisted Kenneth Taylor‘s goal that made it 1-0. The winger scored in Jong Ajax’s 2-1 victory over Telstar one week later. 

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11 Shola Shoretire – Manchester United – Market value: €3m

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As of November 29, 2021

11 Vinicius Tobias – Internacional – Market value: €3m


7 Andreas Schjelderup – FC Nordsjaelland – Market value: €5m

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7 Matheus Nascimento – Botafogo – Market value: €5m

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7 Giovani – Palmeiras – Market value: €5m

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7 Sávio – Atlético Mineiro – Market value: €5m

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6 Julio Enciso – Club Libertad – Market value: €5.5m

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5 Kaiky – Santos – Market value: €6m

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4 Ângelo Gabriel – Santos – Market value: €7m

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3 Mohamed-Ali Cho – Angers – Market value: €10m

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2 Youssoufa Moukoko – BVB – Market value: €18m

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1 Gavi – Barcelona – Market value: €25m

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Van Axel Dongen’s debut is part of Ajax’s long-proven strategy to give young players plenty of opportunities for playing time. “We were close to playing the season with Devyne Rensch, Jurrien Timber, and Brian Brobbey,” van der Gaag said after last season. “They were all promoted to the first team, which meant that we had to promote other players. But it is what it is; it is all part of something bigger. It also meant that Amourrichio had a chance to show himself on a bigger stage, and now he has to show his talent and make the next step to Ajax 1.”  

Even though he is one of the youngest players in the squad, van Axel Dongen is a big part of Ajax’s reserve squad. He has played in five games while also featuring for the U18. In the UEFA Youth League, he has been the acting captain and scored four goals in five games. The winger had his biggest moment in Jong Ajax’s 2-1 win over Roda JC when he was brought on in the 81st minute and then just 60 seconds later scored the winner after a great pass from Ünüvar. 

From December 1 to 24, we introduce new players from different countries born in 2004. Area managers, users, and data scouts come into play as experts throughout the series. You can follow all those players by adding them to your TM watchlist.




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