Johan Cruyff in 2014 compared him to the likes of Xavi and Toni Kroos, now over 3 years on and at a new club he is struggling to gain any of that sort of recognition from some of the Goodison faithful. It’s fair to say that a minority of our fans are somewhat impatient when it comes to new players. Take the new cult-hero of the Gwladys Street Oumar Niasse. He’s now our joint top scorer for the season with 3 goals despite only playing 59 minutes. I’m not saying it will take 16 months for us to get our money’s worth from him. But how long should we wait to make a judgement on him and has he already gone under the radar this season as one of our top performers? (Not like there has been many!)
Ajax last season played some of the most quick and fluent football in Europe at times, which suited Klaassen perfectly. Wingers such as Bertrand Traore and Lasse Schöne who always looked to use him as an outlet. He played a very advanced number 10 role where he would always pass out wide and look to drive into the box. What goal from this season does that remind you of? That infamous goal from Wayne on his return to Goodison Park in the Everton colours was the spit of what he was doing continuously for Ajax last season. The movement from him perfectly makes the space for Rooney to get off his header. We have lacked pace this year massively, a problem which was non-existent at the Dutch side last year. The following league game against Man City showed that he can have an impact as a sub for now in the league. Making a heroic defensive clearance in the dying minutes of the game with the score at 1-1, a result which is looking very good now.
November is when the playmaker should really be hitting his full flow. The returns of Yannick Bolasie and Seamus Coleman should be the perfect players for Davy – fast players who always look to make forward runs and love a good overlap with a cross at the end of it. If he can get the right movement with those two that would be a lethal trio, a trio that would boost the performances of more than just Klaassen. A study ran by Opta stats found us to be the slowest team at moving the ball up the pitch, an award not known to the Dutch style of football Koeman is trying to implement. We’ve been crying out for some sort of pace so far this season, him and Ademola Lookman also looked like they could operate very nicely, two players who are very intelligent and look for the more unorthodox routes into the box.
The system we have played to this point has been nothing short of disappointing, therefore judging any of the new players at this point is very harsh i.e. Sandro Ramirez and Gylfi Sigurdsson. We all know 3 number 10s is never going to work so who can blame him for putting some average performances. The Sunderland game on Wednesday showed that we can play with wingers and look to play Klaassen in a role that would suit him more. For me at the moment he should be starting in the Europa league consistently. It will help him adapt him to the squad more and also we need his experience. He ranks 2nd at our club for appearances made in European competition (37) whether that is in the UCL or the UEL. The only player that beats him is the man who faced him in the final of the Europa League last season, Wayne Rooney.
I think you can see from my points here that the guy needs time and he has already shown glimpses of class. November onwards is when we should see his full potential. He’s 24 being introduced to a new league for the first time, starting 3 games in the league so far this season is not going to suddenly make him the player we all want him to be. Introductions of Yala and Seamus will benefit him massively and getting more games under his belt playing in the competition well known to him. £23.4 million is a lot of money, but Steve Walsh wouldn’t have payed that if he didn’t know the kid had ability, the director of football who scouted the likes of Riyhad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy, Idrissa Gueye and N’golo Kante . All things considered I still think it’s a bargain for the most experienced player at Ajax last season. He’d been captained for 2 seasons prior and he had lead them to a Europa League final in the 3rd. How many of our current players can you name who have done that before the age of 24?