18-year-old Kylian Mbappe and AS Monaco’s youth revolution has garnered the headlines throughout the club’s thrilling run to the Champions League semifinals, but there’s a similar movement taking place in Europe’s less prestigious club competition, the Europa League, at AFC Ajax.
Ajax dismantled Lyon 4-1 in their Europa League semifinal first leg at the Amsterdam ArenA, and, after landing 16 shots on target, they’ll be disappointed that they didn’t add more to their total before the return leg.
Adding to the luster of their impressive performance was the fact that at the final whistle, the starting XI had an average age of just 20. Of their ridiculously talented group of youngsters, there’s perhaps no player more hyped than 19-year-old Danish forward Kasper Dolberg.
On Wednesday he added more fuel to the fire by scoring Ajax’s second goal in the match.
AMSTERDAM’DA KEYİFLER GICIR… Kasper Dolberg’in golüyle Ajax, Lyon karşısında skoru 2-0 yaptıpic.twitter.com/uMzS4pL3dl— spor!zma (@sporizmacom) May 3, 2017
He’s not the most refined of Ajax’s talents, but when your scoring goals at a prolific rate for Ajax at a young age, the noise surrounding you is bound to be louder than at most other clubs.
Ajax has churned out the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Luis Suarez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, so the Dolberg is inevitably going to draw comparisons to all three.
Dolberg is strong in possession, at 6’1’’ he’s imposing, he’s a great dribbler but it’s his finishing ability that has other clubs keenly watching his progress. He’s now scored 20 goals in all competitions for Ajax this season, including a few stunners.
He’s got a little bit of everything, including some Bergkamp-esque skill.
The last Danish forward to draw this much acclaim was Nicklas Bendtner, so who can really predict where he’ll go from here? Regardless, he’s definitely worth watching in the second leg in Lyon and, more than likely, in the Europa League final.