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United target Brobbey can rescue Ajax's season
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Dan Fitch
Brian Brobbey has enjoyed a breakout season at Ajax
Brian Brobbey has enjoyed a breakout season at Ajax

Brian Brobbey has been one of the few bright spots in a miserable season for Ajax. 

The striker has scored 17 goals in 29 games for the Dutch giants in the 2023-24 campaign amid reports Manchester United are interested. 

Ahead of Ajax's trip to Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League knockout round play-off, we take a look at Brobbey's journey and future. 

Return home

Many homegrown players leave Ajax at an early stage of their career. Brobbey has already done that and returned. 

After breaking into the first team in 2020-21, the forward moved to RB Leipzig on a free transfer. 

Brobbey failed to find the net in 14 appearances for the German club and returned to Amsterdam on loan for the second half of the 2021-22 season. 

A return of seven goals in 13 games for Ajax set up a permanent return but as Brobbey has explained, there was interest from elsewhere. 

He said: "Manchester United wanted me, but I really wanted to return to Ajax permanently. 

"To make this possible, my agent Jose Fortes Rodriguez even waived his hefty resale percentage. 

"Erik ten Hag called me and at United. Jose could get his millions and I could earn a multiple of my Ajax salary. 

"But our decision was made. We wanted to go to Ajax." 

Scoring streak

Back at Ajax permanently, Brobbey scored 14 goals and assisted four times in 44 games in 2022-23 despite 24 of those appearances coming from the bench. 

This season he has been a regular starter and has 17 strikes and five assists from his 29 matches. 

Ajax made a terrible start to the season, but the appointment of John van 't Schip as interim manager has seen their form improve and made a huge impact on Brobbey. 

The 22-year-old enjoyed a run of 12 goals in 10 games between November and January, reigniting talk of interest from United in the winter transfer window. 

When questioned about it at the time, Brobbey seemed content to stay at Ajax but did not rule out such a move in the future. 

He said: "I don’t know anything, I've also seen it in the news. I'm staying in Amsterdam. 

"Can they come back in the summer? Who knows." 

If Brobbey can continue his form under Van 't Schip, then there is bound to be interest in him this summer but whether he is ready for another move is another matter. 

Strengths and weaknesses

The arrival of John van 't Schip has improved Brian Brobbey's fortunes
The arrival of John van 't Schip has improved Brian Brobbey's fortunes

Having already left Ajax once and quickly returned, Brobbey may be well-advised to continue his development in Amsterdam. 

Physically he is blessed. The 5ft 11in striker is stocky and is comfortable receiving the ball with his back to goal. At 14, he was found to have a higher vertical leap than Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Brobbey is good at linking play and his movement in the area sees him take a large volume of shots. 

Yet there are also some areas in which he can still improve. His pressing could be better and he is over-reliant on his strength to outmanoeuvre defenders. 

Ultimately, Ajax may not be in a position to turn down a big offer, regardless of whether he is ready to move or not. 

Brobbey's form will be crucial to his team's progress in the Eredivisie and Europa Conference League and could also decide his immediate future.


AjaxEredivisieEuropa Conference LeagueBrian Brobbey
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