Jong Ajax beat VVV Venlo 6-1 in what was a very entertaining match at De Toekomst. The hosts had some of Ajax’s first-team players in the squad against VVV and this could definitely be seen. Jong Ajax set up in a 4-3-3 and was very dominant in possession. Ihattaren scored a hattrick for Jong Ajax, while Naci Ünüvar scored two goals and Kudus scored the opening goal for Jong Ajax. VVV had a few chances to score but their finishing was not great in this match.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Dutch
- Age: 20
- Date of birth: 12/02/2002
- Club: Ajax, on loan from Juventus
- Career: PSV (Y), PSV, Juventus, Sampdoria (L), Juventus, Ajax (L)
- Position: Right Wing
- Secondary position: Attacking Midfield
- Preferred foot: Left
Mohamed Ihattaren played as a right-winger for Jong Ajax in the match against VVV Venlo. The youngster scored a hattrick and once again showed that he is on his way back to his top level. Ihattaren has excellent technical ability. His receiving skills are great, he controls most passes with ease and did not have many, if any, bad touches in this match. Ihattaren’s kicking technique is really good. He has a great passing range and can pull off diagonal passes from the right to the left-wing without any effort. In other words, both his passing over short and medium-long distances was great. When dribbling, the 20-year-old has good close control and often tried to cut back to his stronger left foot. His timing to cut back from his opponent was really good. Ihattaren likes to wait for his opponent to step out before cutting inside.
The youngster struggled in the first half and often lost possession. He likes to combine in the small spaces and often plays diagonal passes into the penalty box, before continuing his run and wanting the ball back. In the first half, he often was quite sloppy with these passes. However, in the second half, this type of pass was the reason for one of Ihattaren’s goals. Tactically, Ihattaren often drops deep while sticking close to the sideline. His direct opponent often let him drop deep and did not follow him. This meant that Ihattaren had the time to do what he wanted. The winger has great vision and often tried to play an over the top through pass, but his final pass wasn’t quite at the level it used to be from Ihattaren. The youngster proved his great kicking technique in all of his three goals, in which he curled the ball towards the far corner.
Physically, Ihattaren seemed fit and he showed that his stamina has increased a lot. An indication of that is that all of his three goals came in the second half. He is quick on the first meters and is capable of maintaining his speed over longer distances. Ihattaren was a bit quicker a few years ago, but over time he will get that sheer pace back. The youngster is strong on the ball and it is hard for the opponent to dispossess him. Ihattaren has good changes of direction and is quite agile. Psychologically, Ihattaren was smiling throughout the match and it looked like he was having the best time of his life on the pitch. When he got subbed off, he was having fun with his teammates too and it seems like he is a friendly teammate.
Rating – A1
I think that Ihattaren is ready to be part of the first-team squad next season if he can continue like this. It seems like he is having a great time at Ajax and that he enjoys every single minute that he is on the pitch. For €2M, Ihattaren will be one of the best deals that Ajax has made in recent years.
- Nationality: Dutch
- Age: 18
- Date of birth: 13/06/2003
- Club: Ajax
- Career: Ajax (Y)
- Position: Attacking Midfield
- Secondary position: Left Wing
- Preferred foot: Right
Naci Ünüvar scored two goals and gave one assist in Jong Ajax’s 6-1 win over VVV Venlo. He played in a position where he has not played much this season, namely as one of the two #8s in front of Kian Fitz-Jim. The Dutch midfielder was always playing in a more advanced position than Kudus though. Ünüvar once again proved that he has an excellent technique. His ball control is outstanding and he rarely gets his first touch wrong. The youngster has great close control when dribbling and changes directions quickly. He does not often lose possession in a match, despite often playing risky passes. His passing technique over short and medium-long distances is excellent. Ünüvar’s passing was very accurate in this match.
He is a very creative midfielder and plays passes that not many players can pull off. His outside of the boot through passes are excellent and he showed this skill once in the match against VVV, when he played a perfect outside of the boot pass towards Danish striker Christian Rasmussen. The attacking midfielder is capable of turning away quickly from his direct opponent using his excellent technique, but also his good agility and speed in the first few meters. For Jong Ajax’s second goal, he proved that he is capable of aggressively carrying the ball forward over around 25 meters and finishing it off with a good shot that was deflected into the goal. His second goal came from the penalty spot and his assist was a sideways pass toward Kudus.
Tactically, Ünüvar liked to roam around the pitch but mainly positioned himself on the left in the half-space. He constantly created angles for the central defenders and Kian Fitz-Jim and with his good first touch, he could always turn directly towards the goal. Ünüvar constantly scanned and is always aware of what is happening around him. The midfielder is also at his best in the left half-space, as he has a good shot from distance but he is also capable of playing through passes to one of the attackers. Standing at 168cm with a normal build, Ünüvar’s frame is a red flag but he compensates for his frame with his excellent technical, tactical and to a lesser extent athletic ability. He has increased his stamina and endurance a lot over the past few years.
Rating – A1
Naci Ünüvar is more than ready for some minutes in Ajax’s first-team and I would like to see him as Steven Berghuis’s backup in the attacking midfield position next season. I think he definitely has the potential to become a regular starter for Ajax’s first team and his 28 goal contributions for Jong Ajax in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie indicate that he is ready for minutes in Ajax 1.