On Thursday, Ajax manager Peter Bosz confirmed to Dutch publication De Telegraaf that Ajax and Netherlands midfielder Riechedly Bazoer will leave his current club in the January transfer window.
"After talks with Riechedly, I assume there is a big chance that he is not with this team anymore after the winter break," Bosz told De Telegraaf. The news will have caught the attention of clubs around Europe, as 20-year-old Bazoer has been linked with sides from all over the continent including Liverpool, Arsenal and AC Milan.
Ahead of his likely winter move, here are five things you need to know about the midfielder widely regarded to be one of the brightest talents in the Netherlands right now.
Ajax "lured" him away from PSV's academy
Before breaking into the first team, Bazoer played for Ajax A1, the club's most important youth team. But Bazoer is not a "true" product of Ajax's youth academy. In fact, the midfielder only joined the Amsterdam-based side in 2013.
As some felt that Ajax violated the "gentleman's agreement" regarding rival clubs' youth players, the move was considered controversial. But years later, these events might not seem relevant anymore. The fact Ajax went through so much trouble to sign him tells us a lot.
It has always been Ajax's strategy to attract and nurture the most talented young players available to them, and Bazoer was no exception.
He has experience playing various positions
In PSV's youth academy, Bazoer played most of his matches as a centre-back. After joining Ajax, however, the 20-year-old admitted that he saw himself as much more of a midfielder than a defender. His manager's refusal to give him much of a chance further up the pitch had actually been one of the prime reasons Bazoer wanted to switch clubs.
Under manager Frank de Boer at Ajax, Bazoer got his chance in midfield. Usually serving as one of the three midfielders in a 4-3-3 formation, he spent some time in a defensive role before becoming one of the two more advanced midfielders.
Undoubtedly, his experience as a more defensive player will likely serve Bazoer well in the future.
He is a modern midfielder
In many ways, the uncertainty about his best position might actually prove a point about Bazoer's capabilities as a modern midfielder. Ajax managers have been required to play in a 4-3-3 formation since the days of Johan Cruyff and Rinus Michels. This formation has usually been interpreted in two ways: one with "the angle facing forward" (as Cruyff put it) and one with "the angle facing backwards."
Put simply, this means that one of the three midfielders will have to be either in a relatively defensive position or a relatively attacking one (the "true No. 10"). The problem with Bazoer is that he seems to fit neither role.
Most of the time, Bazoer likes to move around the pitch, using his vision and technical ability to help the team transition from defense to attack. In this regard, he simply might not fit any of the roles Ajax's tactical setup requires.
He could be too good for Ajax already
Under Bosz, who took over as manager at the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Bazoer only played five matches. Strangely enough, it's still difficult to argue he's not good enough to be in the first team.
Many agree Bazoer simply doesn't fit in the Ajax manager's interpretation of the classic Ajax system. With captain Davy Klaassen and last summer's big signing Hakim Ziyech certain of their places in the first XI, there's simply no place for him right now.
Having him sit on the bench is barely an option either because even at his young age, Bazoer is simply too good to be a rotation player. Ultimately, the only option left for Ajax is to sell him and cash in.
He's generating plenty of hype
Bazoer isn't the first young Dutch player to be hyped up and it remains to be seen whether he will prove his wunderkind credentials to be justified. But for any fan of football, it's difficult not to become excited about Bazoer's raw potential.
Bazoer made his debut in the Dutch national team at the age of 19 and has already earned 6 caps. That year, the midfielder also played his 61st game in Ajax's first team, earning him the so-called Marco van Basten Trophy for Talent of the Year at the Amsterdam side. What's more, Manchester City showed significant interest in him before he even joined Ajax, and only last summer, Italian side Napoli seemed willing to break the bank for him.
His next move will be vital, and as with any hyped up "wunderkind," it's difficult to predict his future. But with his best years still ahead of him, Bazoer's future looks bright.