The two clubs atop the Eredivisie – PSV Eindhoven and AFC Ajax – have kicked off the winter transfer window with a signing each. Funnily enough, both players come from Argentina. However, the players couldn’t be more far apart in terms of career trajectory and play style.
Last week, it was announced that Nicolás Tagliafico has joined Ajax Amsterdam from Independiente. The Argentinean international left-back was bought for a reported €4 million, an absolute steal judging from many reports of the defender. Tagliafico is 25 and seems like a great fit at Ajax, who have desperately needed help at left-back for a while. His attacking skills and defensive ambition are just what the club needs as new manager Erik ten Hag grapples with his first matches at the club. Though Ajax have confirmed two other transfers, they won’t go through until the summer and thus aren’t important to the rest of this season.
PSV Eindhoven, under threat atop the league, have done some shopping of their own. Maximiliano Romero, an 18-year-old Argentinean forward, has joined PSV for a future fee of €10.5 million. As a first team player at Vélez Sarsfield in Argentina, Romero announced himself on the national stage with his physicality and precise finishing. A strong and bullish forward, the youngster will be looking to break into the first team in Eindhoven. Luuk de Jong has been out of form, while Jürgen Locadia has confirmed that he will be departing the Netherlands at the end of the season. Young South American forwards tend to develop well at PSV, so all eyes will be on Maximiliano Romero as he attempts to follow in the footsteps of the famed Ronaldo.
Will Ajax’ shiny international signing bolster their left flank for the coming title charge, or will PSV’s potential world-beater dominate the Eredivisie and deliver the title to Eindhoven? This question will be answered in a few months, but as of now only one thing is certain. The transfers show that the big clubs in the Netherlands are increasing their ambition in the transfer market. Romero has been touted as a potential world-beating striker, while Tagliafico will probably feature at the upcoming World Cup for Argentina. If the country as a whole wants to improve its reputation, clubs around must follow suit.