Kolbeinn Sigthórsson is leaving Eredivisie champions Ajax after having spent three seasons in Amsterdam. Head coach Frank de Boer earlier today stated that “Sigthórsson is close to transfer” and is set to leave to Amsterdam club writes Alex Pieter.
He is set to join English side Queens Park Rangers for a reported fee of £5m. The striker duties in Amsterdam are now the responsibility of new signings Arkadiusz Milik and Ricardo Zivkovic.
Sigthórsson’s time in Amsterdam can best be described as tumultuous. The Icelander never really developed into the player Ajax hoped he would when they bought him from AZ Alkmaar in 2011 for €4.5m. A large part of this was due to Sigthórsson’s inability to stay healthy. He suffered a series of injuries while at Ajax and was rarely in peak fitness or form. When he was, he showed brief flashes of his true potential. However, Sigthórsson did have a knack for scoring important goals for Ajax. This past season he managed 10 goals in 30 league appearances and many of those coming at vital times.
Sigthórsson’s biggest problem in Amsterdam was that he never had the attributes of a classic Ajax number nine. Sigthórsson is at his best when he is receiving a steady diet of crosses, something Ajax, traditionally, is not keen on doing.
For one, Sigthórsson struggles to create for himself and often needs his chances served to him on a silver platter in order to deliver. He is very average on the ball and lacks pace, which can be attributed to his long injury history, particularly his fractured ankle in the 2011-2012 season.
Frank de Boer tried him on the wing this year with very limited success, so versatility is another issue for Sigthórsson, as he is best as a lone or paired striker. His finishing is very inconsistent, something that must improve if he is to succeed at QPR.
Sigthórsson also has a bit of a “clutch factor” about him. It seemed this past year when Ajax was truly in need of a goal Sigthórsson was someone they could turn to, and many times he delivered. For example, he scored a huge goal in de Klassieker against Feyenoord which levelled the score 1-1, Ajax would go on to win 2-1. Another example is when he scored the lone goal in the first match back from the winter pause, to give Ajax an important three points against PSV.
For all of Sigthórsson’s shortcomings, he is still a very solid player. It may be that the Icelandic international just needs a change of scenery and a club that plays a style for suited to his strengths. A capable passer, Sigthórsson is also a physical attacker, standing at 6’3 he is a force to be reckoned with through the air.
If he is able to stay healthy, get quality service and fit into the QPR system he could end up being a very solid investment for the Premier League club.
Click on Alex’s name to follow him on Twitter.