Tag Archives: Ricardo Kishna

How does PSV replace Memphis Depay?

The announcement last week of the transfer of Memphis Depay to Manchester United has left PSV with a significant hole to fill.  Luckily for PSV, they have money in the bank now in order to try and fill this hole.  We all know and appreciate Memphis’ talents and he might be one of those once in a generation footballers but PSV need to ask the question “How do we Replace Memphis”? Even with Memphis leaving, PSV still have a very talented side but they will certainly miss the X-Factor that he provided.  Replacing Memphis will be a hard task but there are some options at PSV’s disposal.  Rogier Waalder looks at the candidates:

Jesus Manuel Corona (FC Twente)

One of the only players in the Eredivisie this year who catches the eye as much as Depay does, is the Mexican winger Jesus Corona, who plays for FC Twente.  A very tricky and skilful winger, he certainly has the ability to turn a game like Memphis does.  He has scored 13 goals in his 32 games this season and his dribbling, first touch and technique are in the same class as Memphis.  He does lack the power and free-kick abilities of Memphis but is only 22 years old.  FC Twente will be holding a fire-sale in the summer to clear their debts and so Corona is very much on the market.  A big stumbling block, though, is his wage demands with a recent poll showing that 85% of PSV fans do not think he is worth the reported 1 million EURO salary that he is after.

Sam Larsson (SC Heerenveen)

Swedish international Larsson is a new arrival to Heerenveen this season, after joining from Goteburg in the off-season.  He has proven to be yet another potential Scandinavian jewel that the Heerenveen scouting team has delivered over the years.  Has all the same hallmarks as Corona but represents a more powerful, cheaper option.  Larsson has contributed 8 goals and 6 assists in his 20 games this season. Heerenveen have already offered him a new contract, but he has refused to consider this at present.  He has a contract until 2018 so Heerenveen aren’t in any rush to sell but PSV might be tempted to make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Ricardo Kishna (Ajax)

Yes he plays for Ajax presently and yes this is probably the biggest obstacle in Kishna going to PSV, but transfers between PSV & Ajax are not unheard of.  Kishna is a year younger than Memphis and despite his young age has already proven that he can light up the Eredivisie.  His flair, trickery, dribbling and pace are very comparable to Memphis and he has a return of 5 goals and assists from 20 matches this season.  This current Dutch youth team player only has 1 year to run on his Ajax contract, so he could force the issue if PSV make a serious play for his services.

Elvis Manu (Feyenoord)

Plays for Feyenoord, so again some question marks surrounding a desire to sell him to PSV but he also has the hallmarks of someone who could replace Memphis.  A 21-year old natural Left Winger, Manu has had a good season for Feyenoord with 14 goals in 34 matches, including some great performances in the Europa League.  Manu has great pace and strength but his overall technique and consistency would need some improvement to reach Memphis levels but definitely a great raw talent.

Steven Berghuis (AZ Alkmaar)

Berghuis has been a standout performer for AZ this season with 10 goals in 22 appearances.  The former Twente youth player can play on either wing or as Striker and has excellent technical and passing abilities.  He has a strong desire to succeed (much like Memphis does) and would arguably be the cheapest of the options presented thus far.  He probably isn’t quite at the standard that Memphis is but would be a good squad player, in conjunction with another big name signing.

Bilal Ould-Chikh (FC Twente)

If PSV are looking at a longer term prospect that they can bring up to Memphis’ standard then Ould-Chikh might be their guy.  Only 17 years old he has already played 15 full games for FC Twente this season.  An out and out winger with great technique, pace and dribbling abilities Ould-Chikh certainly has the potential to rival Memphis one day.  FC Twente might be needing cash to satisfy their creditors at the moment, but surely they’ll want to hang on to their star prospect and try and build a team around him.

Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United)

Januzaj has been on the outer at Manchester United since Van Gaal’s arrival and was rumoured to have been offered as part of any deal taking Memphis to England.  It doesn’t look like this has eventuated but a cashed up PSV could do a lot worse than taking the talented Belgian to Eindhoven, even if it is on loan.  Even though he has not scored in the Premier League this year, the footballing world is very aware of Januzaj’s abilities with a ball at his feet and his technique and flair do rival those of Memphis.  He is on a massive salary at Man Utd and this is why a loan move but be the best for both teams, particularly as Memphis will certainly be a direct rival for Januzaj.

Serge Gnabry (Arsenal)

Another potential loan option is the Arsenal youngster, Serge Gnabry.  Like Januzaj Gnabry burst onto the scene last season before injury curtailed his plans and has had limited game time since.  He may be best suited to a spell in the Eredivisie, whilst also getting guaranteed Champions League action.  Gnabry has fantastic physical attributes and his attacking tendancies would be very well suited to this PSV side.

Ola John (Benfica)

For a 22-year old John seems to have been around for a long time, and certainly his club movements would indicate the same.  Currently at Benfica, the lure of returning home to PSV may be one that suits John as he looks to break back into the Dutch national team setup.  Another out and out pacy winger John could be the perfect provider for Luuk de Jong.

Filip Kostic (Stuttgart)

22-year old Serbian Kostic played 2 seasons in the Eredivisie with Groningen before earning a move to Stuttgart in the off-season.  He has played reasonably well in a struggling side with 3 goals and 7 assists thus far.  He has tremendous cross abilities and is also an accomplished finisher.  If Stuttgart do get relegated this season this might be enough to convince Kostic to return to the Netherlands and the lure of Champions League football.

There are some options available internally at PSV at present headlined by the wantaway Zakaria Bakkali and the raw but very inconsistent Florian Jozefzoon.  A long term potential replacement is the exciting young Steven Bergwijn, who made his Eredivisie debut on the weekend at the age of 17. Bergwijn is very highly thought of at PSV and has tremendous pace and acceleration.  If his technical abilities continue to develop over the next few seasons he is definitely one to watch.


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What’s next for Ajax heading into summer?

Ajax finished the 2014-2015 campaign in largely disappointing fashion. You won’t find too many Ajax supporters that will tell you PSV was not the best side in the Eredivisie this year. However, many in the Ajax camp expected to be in the hunt down to the final weeks of the season. A run of lackluster matches against mediocre opponents has Frank de Boer and company searching for answers going into the summer as Alex Pieter describes.

As for European competitions, Ajax again had the unfortunate luck of drawing a tough group, with European giants Barcelona and PSG. Yet, Ajax left points on the table. Drawing a winnable game at the ArenA against PSG 1-1 was a killer. The second-half of that match is perhaps the best 45 minutes Ajax strung together the entire season. The other match that comes to mind is the dismal draw in Cyprus against APOEL, a solid side, yet one Ajax was expected to beat. The Europa League did not treat Ajax much better. After an encouraging display against Legia Warsaw, Ajax saw their dreams dashed in Ukraine against a talented, but beatable, Dnipro squad. It must be noted though that Ajax started the youngest average squad of any club in either European competition with an average age of 22 years old.

Ajax will not have the privilege of qualifying for the Champions league group stages automatically next year. Rather, they will have to play a series of difficult qualifiers. If you remember back to last year, Feyenoord, who finished second in the league during the 2013-2014 season, had to play Besiktas. The year before that, PSV went crashing out in the qualifying rounds to AC Milan. The Champions League group stages are far from guaranteed for Ajax at this point and a quality opponent is guaranteed.


Ajax will lose a few familiar faces heading into next year. The first being captain Niklas Moisander, who has come to terms with Serie A side Sampdoria and will leave on a free transfer. Moisander failed to live up to the expectations set up by his predecessors, Toby Alderwerield and Jan Vertonghen. The loss will hurt Ajax because of the lack of depth at the center-back position. While de Toekomst continues to churn out talented midfield prospects, the number of talented defenders has been lacking. Stenfano Denswil, once pegged as a future starter for Ajax, was sold last year and is now struggling for Club Brugge in Belgium. Possible successors for Mosiander’s CB position are: Riechedly Bazoer, who has played mostly as a defensive midfielder, but who’s future could be at CB, Mikey van der Hoorn, who has showed flashes of potential but overall hasn’t lived up to Ajax expectations, Jairo Riedwald, who is well-known for his 2-goal debut for the club last year, or the most likely of the candidates, Nick Viergever, who has played mostly on the outside, but has proved capable of holding down the center.

There have also been rumors of late of a Ricardo Kishna departure. Whether there is a factual basis for these rumors is unknown. Kishna’s agent, Mino Raoila, has always been known to stir the pot and create drama out of thin air. What is known though, is the innate talent possessed by Kishna. Easily one of the bigger talents in the squad, he has been linked to multiple clubs in Serie A. With the return of Viktor Fischer there is increased competition on the left-wing. If Kishna were to go, it would be a big loss for Ajax. Kishna has shown he has the talent to make it big someday.

Will we finally see the exit of Kolbeinn Sigthorsson? The Icelandic battering ram never really found his stride in Amsterdam. The striker is not a typical Ajax number 9. Granted, he was never the same player after his ankle injury a few years back. Sigthorsson possesses the talent to help a club where the fit is right. Sadly, that club is just not Ajax. Where Sigthorsson may land during the summer is still a mystery. Unfortunately for Ajax, his value may be at an all-time low.

The Niki Zimling experiment will be remembered as a failure. Brought in to fill the void left by veteran Christian Poulsen, Zimling did not contribute much on the pitch for Ajax this season. The 30 year-old loanee from Mainz was expected to provide experience and toughness in a young, sometimes frail and timid Ajax midfield. He also spent much of the season battling injuries. It is no surprise he will return to Mainz after the season.


Another year, another rumor of a former club legend returning to Amsterdam. This year, it is Rafael van der Vaart. His current club Hamburg SV is currently battling relegation and has told the 32 year-old midfielder they do not intend to renew his contract. That has left the door open for a return to Amsterdam for van der Vaart. While it is a romantic idea, it is not very likely. Ajax is unlikely to be able to pay the wages van der Vaart will demand. If van der Vaart were to take a pay cut, it remains to be seen how he’d fit into the squad. He has not aged as gracefully as some of his peers, such as Wesley Sneijder. Van der Vaart cannot cover ground like he used to, a key aspect of the Ajax midfield. How would his return affect the development of other youngsters such as Sinkgraven, Nouri, and van Beek? As someone who has played at the very highest level, van der Vaart could provide much needed experience and guidance to the younger generation. It all depends on van der Vaart, is he content to take a pay cut and play the mentor role, or will he opt to play every week and make the big bucks in MLS or somewhere in Asia?

Nemanja Gudelj has also been on the Ajax radar. The 23 year-old AZ Alkmaar Serbian midfielder is the most likely candidate to join the club next year, although a deal has not yet been reached. Guldelj would certainly add some toughness in the midfield and could prove useful alongside Klaassen and Sinkgraven. His arrival could possibly spell the end for fan-favorite Thulani Serero.

The name Oscar Cardozo has also been thrown around. I won’t comment too much on this because of the extreme unlikelihood he lands in Amsterdam. A 31 year-old, target-man striker, with no Eredivisie roots is just simply not an idea Ajax would seriously entertain.

Ajax would be wise to add some experience though. The youth of the squad proved costly too many times this season. Hopefully Overmars will take some shots at some big-name targets, as Ajax are in a very good financial position at the moment.

With the financial success Ajax have found themselves in, another route would be buying their stadium, the Amsterdam Arena. This is something Ajax have been pondering for some time and would prove to be a long-term financially responsible decision.

No matter what Ajax decided to spend their resources on, the fact remains that Ajax expect to challenge for – and win the 2015-2016 Eredivisie title.

As summer progresses, we will learn more and more about how next year’s squad will shape up. Some questions leading into the summer:

-Will Zivkovic get his act together and get back on track toward reaching his potential?

-Will Arek Milik continue his progression and become the next great number 9 for Ajax?

-Will Klaassen take the next step in his development and prove himself a legitimate prospect for the top clubs of Europe?

-Will next season be Frank de Boer’s last?

-What will Overmars do, if anything, to make ensure Ajax are not only challenging for domestic titles, but also relevant in Europe?

-What talents will step up and show they are ready for the senior side and which need a year or two more with Jong Ajax?


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EREDIVISIE: Ajax 4-1 Vitesse





Ajax got their title defense underway with 4-1 win over Vitesse, although the victory was not as one-sided as it sounds.

Whilst potential signing Samuel Eto’o was among the spectators at the Amsterdam ArenA, Frank de Boer went with three-pronged attack of Ricardo Kishna, Arkadiusz Milik and Lasse Schöne. He left all three of Ajax’s representatives at this summer’s World Cup on the bench, Jasper Cillessen, Joël Veltman and Daley Blind.

Meanwhile, Peter Bosz decided to feature two youngsters from the latest crop sent over to Arnhem from Chelsea. Burkina Faso attacking midfielder Bertrand Traoré returned for his second season at Vitesse while Brazilian right-back Wallace made his debut at the back.

Vitesse controlled the majority of the first 45 minutes with Ajax looking vulnerable at the back, however the visitors were due to rue all the missed opportunities especially when Ajax made the breakthrough five minutes before half-time.

Summer signing Nick Viergever got the first goal with a wonderful left-foot finish. Young full-back Ruben Ligeon got forward on the right-wing and planted a cross in the middle of the box, arriving late Viergever volleyed past Piet Velthuizen in goal to make the Amsterdam ArenA jump.

Just after the interval, the lead was doubled after Chelsea youngster Wallace brought down Kishna around 30-yards out. From the resulting set-piece, Lasse Schöne hit a dipping long range shot that made Velthuizen look rather foolish in goal.

The second goal woke Vitesse up immediately and Bosz’s men nearly reduced the deficit. Defender Guram Kashia cracked a header off the crossbar from a Zakaria Labyad corner and then nodded the rebound over. However, the game was settled just after the hour mark with Mike van der Hoorn’s first goal for Ajax. Schone whipped in the corner and the defender rose above Jan-Arie van der Heijden to make it 3-0. Game over for Vitesse Arnhem.

The entrances of new signing Denys Olinyk and young forward Uroš Djurdjevic did not bring Vitesse any joy, Ajax were in full domination and dictated the tempo of the play. Although, Vitesse did get a consolation goal with a lovely effort by Marko Vejinović with just six minutes to go. After shrugging off the challenge of Van der Hoorn, the midfielder caught the Ajax defence asleep as he surged through the area and slotted home inside Kenneth Vermeer’s inside post.

Ajax made it four before the final whistle when young substitute winger Ahmed El Ghazi played a ball into the back post, and Schöne sidefooted home to score his second of the match.

Great second half performance from the Amsterdammers which may have shown Marc Overmars and De Boer that, do they really need to spend €2million a year on wages for Eto’o when they have all this talent banging in the goals when it matters.


AJAX: Vermeer, Ligeon, Van der Hoorn, Moisander, Boilesen, Klaassen (Sigthórsson 80), Viergever, Serero, Schöne, Milik (Blind 59), Kishna (El Ghazi 70).

SUBS NOT USED: Cillessen, Veltman, Sigthórsson, Andersen, Denswil.

GOALS: Viergever 40, Schöne 48, Van der Hoorn 62.

BOOKINGS: Ligeon 43, Van der Hoorn 82.

VITESSE: Velthuizen, Wallace, Kashia, Van den Heijden, Kruiswijk, Pröpper, Leerdam (Achenteh 85), Vejinovic, Labyad, Kazaishvili (Olinyk 66), Traoré (Djurdjevic 66).

SUBS NOT USED: Room, Dijks, Bosz, Dauda.

GOALS: Vejinovic 84.

BOOKINGS: Wallace 47.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Lasse Schöne (Ajax)


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