AFC Ajax U18 – Match Report vs. Liverpool U19 (26/10/2022)

Ajax under 18 comfortably beat Liverpool under 19 on the fifth matchday of the UEFA Youth League. After losing 4-0 in Liverpool, Frank Peereboom fielded a strengthened side in the return leg. The side from Amsterdam set up in a traditional 4-3-3 and played some good one-touch football with the likes of Gabriel Misehouy and Silvano Vos. Ajax under 18 managed to win 3-1 to progress to the next round of the UEFA Youth League.

Youth Ratings

1 – Ready for the first team

2 – Good, potential to be first team

3 – Decent, could make first team squad

4 – Decent potential, unlikely to make it to first team

5 – Unlikely to make first team

Jorrel Hato

  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Age: 16
  • Date of birth: 07/03/2006
  • Club: AFC Ajax under 18
  • Career: SC Feyenoord, Sparta Rotterdam (Y)
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Left

Jorrel Hato, at 16, captained a young Ajax under 18 side on the fifth matchday of the UEFA Youth League. He started in his favoured left central defence position and formed a duo with Tristan Gooijer, who just came back from an injury. Early on in the game, Hato quickly established himself and showed incredible composure on the ball. Liverpool tried to put intense pressure on Ajax’s backline, but Jorrel Hato was not susceptible to Liverpool’s pressure and even took on opponents in the first phase of the build-up. The Dutch central defender held off his opponent well and never lost the ball in a dangerous position. Hato stalled his action until the opponent made a move, which gave him extra time and protection on the ball. Hato showed an excellent passing technique on his left foot, switching play comfortably and not making any big mistakes. I think that Jorrel Hato could improve his clearances under pressure though. He likes to run with the ball near his own box and sometimes gets forced to clear the ball. But because he is so composed, he occasionally tried to be too smart with his passing. Sometimes, he just needs to clear the ball down the line and not pass it into central areas under pressure near the touchline, especially because he is out of position if Ajax does lose possession.

In defence, Hato, as almost every Ajax defender that comes out of the youth academy, liked to defend aggressively. He was always thinking about attacking and intercepting the ball as quickly as possible. Jorrel Hato was dominant in duels with his back towards the goal and also showed good composure in the defensive areas. He timed his interceptions well and did not give away any unnecessary free kicks near the halfway line, always allowing Ajax to keep the pressure on Liverpool’s defence or midfield high. Even in duels Hato looked elegant and smooth, at times he made it look really easy even though Ajax came up against a high-quality side. There was one aspect that Jorrel Hato needs to improve on. Dealing with crosses from his side, Hato was often caught ball-watching and not paying attention to the attacker’s movement. This can lead to problems when his opponent makes smarter runs.

Jorrel Hato has an incredible recovery speed over longer distances. He is quick on the first meters too and has great athleticism. I think that he needs to bulk up a bit before playing professional senior football, but he is getting very close to that level. Playing in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie, a league that is known for its physicality, would be beneficial for Jorrel Hato.

Rating – 2

Jorrel Hato signed his first professional contract with Ajax just one week after his 16th birthday, showing that the club from Amsterdam has a lot of trust in the 16-year-old. He told Ajax TV that his goal was to be a starter for the first team at the age of 19, and I think that he is on his way to get there. He will become a starter for Jong Ajax before turning 17 and could make his way into the first team next pre-season.

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