Ajax Talent to Premier League Giants?
Welcome back to Rating the Rumour, which does exactly what it says on the tin. We’ll be taking the biggest transfer rumours related to Premier League teams and rating the likelihood of the moves coming to fruition.
The final rating will be decided based on the potential fit of the player into the rumoured buying club, the need for that club to sign a player for the position played, whether the player is of the level required by the club, whether the club could afford the rumoured price and whether or not the player is even likely to be available for transfer.
We will not factor in the reliability of the rumour, as it would likely cause mass amounts of crying from outlets, journalists and “journalists” who would have to be denounced as spoofers.
With the ground rules laid out, let’s look at Devyne Rensch to Liverpool. This has recently been reported by Football Insider.
An adaptable right-back who is both comfortable on the ball and strong defensively, Rensch profiles well for just about any team in Europe. He can be whatever you need him to be.
His pace and ability on the ball allows him to play as an attacking overlapping fullback, his composure and passing ability enable him to invert into midfield ala Trent Alexander-Arnold, or if you simply want a lock-down fullback he can fill that role as well with his speed, strength, reading of the game and 1v1 defensive ability.
For Liverpool, he could either be a high-quality backup for Alexander-Arnold, or the full-time starting right-back if Alexander-Arnold is moved into midfield on a permanent basis. As an added bonus, he can also cover across the back-line so he would give Jurgen Klopp extra cover in the middle and at left-back.
Fit Rating – 2/2
Liverpool have three players who are intended to be the cover for Alexander-Arnold. Joe Gomez, who is a central defender and also needed as cover in central defence, Conor Bradley, who is unproven above League One level, and Calvin Ramsey, currently on loan at Preston North End and unproven outside of Scotland.
All three are fine players, but all three are injury-prone. Liverpool could use a reliable presence as cover for Alexander-Arnold who could actually allow proper rotation in the right-back position.
Need Rating – 2/2
Thus far Rensch’s experience at club level extends only to games played for Ajax, but despite being just 20 years of age he is fast approaching his 100th senior match for the club. That includes 17 games in European competition.
That level of experience is rare in such a young player, a player who has already won his first senior cap for the Dutch National Team, and is even more impressive when you consider the fact that he was battling for game-time with the outstanding Noussair Mazraoui in his first two seasons, and Mexican international Jorge Sanchez in his third.
The jump from the Eredivisie to the Premier League is sizeable and it’s hard to predict how players will adapt but Rensch certainly has the ability to excel in Europe’s best league.
Level Rating – 1/2
Ajax don’t like to sell their players on the cheap, as we have seen in recent years with the fees they have received for Jurrien Timber, Edson Alvarez, Muhammed Kudus, Antony and Lisandro Martinez. They will set a price and stick to it for as long as possible.
The possible sticking point for Ajax in this deal is that Rensch will be entering the last 18 months of his contract in January and having seen Ryan Gravenberch move to Bayern Munich at a low price, Andre Onana and Mazraoui leave for free having run down their contract, the Dutch side might well be open to selling at a fair price in January.
When he was linked to Arsenal recently a fee of £20mil was suggested and that seems a fair deal for all parties.
Affordability Rating – 2/2
Everything that’s not nailed down is for sale at Ajax at all times. Ajax understands its place in the modern game, as a developer of talent and a stepping stone for players destined for Europe’s richest clubs.
With Rensch’s contract situation, they would likely be very open to a January move.
Availability Rating 2/2
As a rumour, we rate this as a 9/10. It’s a transfer that would make sense for all three parties involved. That’s not to say it will come to fruition, but the rumour is a strong one.