Ajax’s history with Danish players goes way back in time: from Frank Arnesen and Søren Lerby to Michael Laudrup and Jesper Grønkjaer. One of the latest Danes that have arrived in Amsterdam is Viktor Fischer (18). The young Dane is a versatile player who can play either as a central forward or a left winger. Because of his excellent technical ability he can also be used as an attacking midfielder. His preferred spot is on the left side of the front three.
Fischer, born on June 9 1994 in Aarhus, started off his career at IF Lysend. As a 10-year-old he played with kids who were two years older but that was no struggle for the young Viktor. He banged in 81 goals in one season. Fischer has always been the best of his generation. His velvet technique, natural movements and passion for the game caught the eye. He made his debut in professional football for FC Midtjylland before moving to Ajax for a fee of around €1.3 million.
Despite interest from the clubs that are among the biggest in Europe, it was ultimately an easy decision for the Fischer to sign for Ajax. He has had trials at Manchester City, Chelsea and Inter Milan but when Ajax stepped in, he made his choice. His most important reason to choose Ajax is the chance to develop as a player. The circumstances in Holland and especially Ajax, who have one of the best if not the best academy in the world, are almost ideal for young players. Young players in the Eredivisie get regular first team opportunities. It is one of the most technically sound leagues in the World. While it can’t attract the biggest names, it certainly produces them.
The presence of two other Danes at Ajax, Christian Eriksen and Nicolai Boilesen, was another reason for Fischer to choose the Dutch club.
Fischer joined the U19’s in his first year at Ajax. A succesfull one as they won the championship. The Dane made a great impact in last season’s Next Gen Series, scoring two goals against Barcelona in the quarter-finals and a hat-trick against Liverpool in the semis. From that moment the Ajax fans knew the club had another maestro on their hands. His quick development was the reason for Ajax manager Frank de Boer to add him to the first team for the 2012/13 season. He made his official debut for the Amsterdam club against PSV Eindhoven in the battle for the Johan Cruyff Shield (Dutch Community Shield). With one goal against PSV in the league (3-1 win) and two against Feyenoord (3-0) to his name, Viktor Fischer is already showcasing his talents to the rest of the World.
Ajax coach Frank de Boer is full of praise about his young pupil. “He has the qualities to become a major player”. He added how Fischer reminded him of former Barcelona team mate Andres Iniesta.
In November he made his debut for Denmark’s senior side in the World Cup qualification against Turkey being subbed on for Michael Krom-Dehli.
Fischer can best be described as a technically and offensively oriented player who’s always trying to go forward. Scoring goals is his second nature; he regularly finds the net with ease. Another strong point of the Dane is that he doesn’t only create space for himself on the pitch, but also for his team mates.
Position-wise he’s a wide playmaker who acts like a deep-lying forward. Combined with the system at Ajax – lots of positional interchange and movement in a flexible 4-3-3 – Fischer’s natural ability means he’s allowed to float between the lines and move into space vacated by a teammate. Once he bears down on goal, Fischer’s composure is great for someone so young, leading many observers to believe that his finishing is his strongest asset.
Fischer has more: intuition, love of dribbling and insight. There are not many aspects of the game he’s not good at. One of his weaknessess is that he has to be more alert when Ajax lose the ball. His reaction time is sometimes too slow for the level he’s playing at. Another thing is that he has to learn when it’s time to take on a defender or when it’s smarter to pass the ball to a team mate. It appears to happen often that Fischer loses the ball a bit too easily for a player playing at the top level. At 18 though, he is still learning his trade and with the right mentorship, he can go on to correct these errors.
His willingness to learn and constantly improve is refreshing to see. Fischer himself is his biggest critic. He’s never statisfied, there are always things he can improve. Like Jan Vertonghen did after joining Ajax, the 18-year-old moved in with a host family to help assimilate to life in his new surroundings and pick up the Dutch language. He became fluent after just six months.
Fischer knows he’s good, but calling him arrogant would be wide off the mark. He’s still just a boy from Aarhus. Fame and fortune haven’t skewered him. Playing football remains a privilege, one he’s fortunate to have.
Ever since joining Ajax, Fischer has been linked with a move away to one of Europe’s biggest clubs. Lately the names of AC Milan and FC Barcelona were linked to him. Despite the rumoured interest, he renewed his contract until the summer of 2017 a couple of weeks ago.
Christian Eriksen is yet to sign a new contract with the club and rumours are rife that he could be on his way out to one of Europe’s bigger leagues. While this would be a blow for Ajax Amsterdam in general, it can only prove to be an opportunity for young Viktor Fischer to make his mark on the first team and stamp down a regular starting berth.
Fischer knows Ajax’s reputation when it comes to developing players. The 18-year-old has always said that Ajax is the best place for him to improve as footballer. Despite losing many of their talents to bigger clubs, Ajax has an impressive track record of producing quality talent. A model the rest of Europe are desperate to adopt. Viktor Fischer could very well be the next big name to come through.
This piece was written by Babette van Haaren. Follow her on twitter @BabettevHaaren
Featured image used, taken from caughtoffside.com