We've signed a defender. An actual defender. And not only that, in a position we sorely needed. Jon Punt tried to find out a little bit more about Mitchell Dijks....
Ok, let's be honest about this. No-one had ever heard of Mitchell Dijks until late last week, right? Then we all lost our minds because the deal had collapsed so late in the window. Well here he is, signed, sealed, delivered, he's ours. That is until the end of the season at least. According to his agent, Dijks was reticent to drop down into second tier football, so an initial loan and promotion dependant permanent deal makes sense for all parties.
Usually at Along Come Norwich, we like to try and give you a flavour of what our new signings will bring to the side. As we really know very little about the man, short of what's on Wikipedia and the rest of the interwebs, here's @AjaxDailyDotCom's Kevin Suave with an actual proper and informed opinion....
"Mitchell Dijks joined Ajax from Volendam back in 2009 at the age of 16. He came up through the ranks of the youth academy and went on to make his first team debut in 2012. However, at that time Daley Blind was the undisputed first team leftback, so Dijks was subsequently loaned out for the 2013/2014 season to Eredivisie side Heerenveen. He was a first team regular over at the “Superfriezen” but was informed by Frank de Boer he was allowed to leave Ajax upon his return to Amsterdam.
Dijks joined Willem II on a free transfer and became one of the strong-holders of that team. At the end of the season various domestic and foreign clubs were hoping to sign him, including AZ and Celtic. Dijks even held talks with Feyenoord and was close to an agreement before Ajax came along, eventually leading to a return to Amsterdam.
With Boilesen out with a severe injury, Dijks became De Boer’s first choice for the leftback position. He would go on to play most of the games that season, but never managed to solidify his spot in the starting line-up. He was considered an average player by the fans and one of the weaker links in the team.
Under new manager Peter Bosz, Dijks lost his spot to Daley Sinkgraven, who is a natural midfielder-turned-leftback. Dijks was demoted to the role of reserve and has mainly been a benchwarmer ever since. Most fans probably don’t mind him leaving as he was never considered a true asset to the Ajax squad.
In short, Dijks is a strong, tall (6'3) and versatile leftback, best known for long runs and sloppy crosses. He likes to get involved in attacking play but tends to commit quite the number of fouls and doesn’t always win his duels despite his physical attributes. I do believe he’ll be a good fit for English football."
So it's a mixed bag of a review from Kevin. An average player (for Ajax) but a potential good fit for English football. Not sure we like the sound of those sloppy crosses though.
Only time will tell, but it's not like we've thrown away 4 million Euros on him just yet...
Thanks to Kevin for taking the time to talk to us, you can follow him and receive the latest Ajax news on Twitter at @AjaxDailyDotCom