by Tom Lees - 9th January 2016
As the Netherlands look to rebuild following their failure to qualify for the European Championships, the player who will be at the centre of the new side will be a young teenage midfielder of supreme talent. Riechedly Bazoer is attracting a lot of interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs at the moment, the latest being Barcelona and Arsenal, the reason for this is not just because of his immense potential but the rapid progression he has been making.
Bazoer was born in Utrecht, to parents descending from the Caribbean island of Curacao, and signed for PSV Eindhoven at the age of just 9. He would spend 6 years at the Eindhoven academy before opting to leave, having become frustrated at being groomed as a centre back rather than a midfielder. Even at that young age interest in the Dutchman was high with Manchester City keen to sign Bazoer up, however he would turn down the English club’s advances and instead join PSV’s rivals Ajax Amsterdam.
He would quickly become a regular in the Jong Ajax side and performed well during the 2013/14 season in the Eerste Divisie. Also that season he would take part in the Under 19 Eredivisie Championship, winning the title with his young Ajax side. These performances combined with more good displays for Jong Ajax at the beginning of the 2014/15 campaign earned young Bazoer his official Ajax first team debut in October 2014, against Urk in the Dutch Cup. His Eredivisie debut would follow in December and some eye catching displays for the first team soon established himself as a star name at the club.
2015 would then go on to be a fantastic year of progression for Riechedly Bazoer, a fresh new face in the Ajax midfield, his performances grew with every selection so that by the end of the year he was one of the first names on Frank de Boers team sheet. Despite Ajax finishing the season as runners up to PSV, Bazoer would be one of the Amsterdam clubs big plus points and will now be a key player as they look to reclaim their title. He would also regularly represent his side in Continental competition, not looking out of place in either the Champions League or Europa League.
Internationally Bazoer began his career representing the Netherlands at Under 17 level, where he was part of the victorious 2012 European Championships side. He would then progress impressively throughout the age groups, and during 2015 would achieve something quite special. Bazoer would play for the Dutch Under 19’s, Under 21’s and then finally earn his first senior cap in a November friendly victory over Wales. Three different age ranges in one year, not too many players can claim to have achieved this, and especially impressive for one of the major footballing nations.
Bazoer is a strong midfield presence, where he can operate either in a holding role or as a powerful box to box player. Also due to his youth development he is impressive in a centre back position and can cover full back roles when necessary, Bazoer is the epitome of ‘total football’ and has such talent that you feel he could operate anywhere on the football pitch. He shows great intelligence and composure on the field, and has great positional and tactical awareness. A strong player with a great ability to pass and tackle he has drawn some immense comparisons in Dutch football, most notably those of legendary stars Clarence Seedorf and Frank Rijkaard.
Riechedly Bazoer is one of the jewels of European football and his name will be on the shopping lists of the biggest clubs on the continent, his future looks like it has no bounds, it’s just a question as to where the player wants to develop. It may be in his interest to remain at Ajax for a few more years, but interest in his talent is so high that the temptation to leave may become too great. He will become a global name in the game, and I don’t think we’ll have to wait too long until that prediction comes to fruition.