The first season of Mohamed Daramy in the service of Ajax can be called a disappointment. Where the winger was brought in with high expectations less than a year ago, the stamp of bad buy already sticks to him. Will Daramy be written off too early or will he simply fall short to make it happen in Amsterdam? Together with FootballTransfers, Voetbalzone takes a look at the past and future of one of the most expensive purchases in Ajax’s club history.
Last summer Ajax was eagerly looking for fresh blood for the flank positions. In the search for an offensive reinforcement, the team from Amsterdam ended up with Kamaldeen Sulemana, who was then still a player of FC Nordsjaelland. The moment everything indicated that Ajax had won the battle for the signature of the Ghanaian wing attacker, the transfer soap took an unexpected turn. Sulemana canceled Ajax at the last minute and joined the French Stade Rennes.
Sulemana’s cancellation forced the reigning champions to look further. After Steven Bergwijn proved unaffordable, Ajax found its new wing flash in Denmark: at FC Copenhagen, to be precise. For a transfer fee of up to thirteen million euros, Daramy came over from the Danish capital. This puts the attacker in the top ten of most expensive purchases in Ajax’s club history. And that creates certain expectations, even though Erik ten Hag made it clear from the start that Daramy would need time to adapt to the new circumstances.
Kamaldeen Sulemana seemed to be Ajax’s new wing attacker for a long time last summer, until the Ghanaian decided at the last minute to opt for Stade Rennes.
However, the acclimatization period still does not seem to be over. While Daramy developed into one of the most coveted players in the Danish competition in the Copenhagen shirt, he has not yet shown what he is capable of in the service of Ajax. Daramy played only 196 minutes in the Eredivisie last season, spread over 12 substitutes. That has not done his transfer value any good. That is according to Football Transfers evaporated in half in one year. Daramy is now worth only 5.4 million euros, compared to the approximately 9 million euros at the time of his switch.
With that, Daramy loses to almost all his other teammates. Jurriën Timber, coveted by Manchester United, represents the highest transfer value (40 million euros), followed by Sébastien Haller (38 million euros), Antony (35 million euros), Lisandro Martínez (34 million euros) and Edson Álvarez (31 million euros). Daramy is approximately at the level of Mohamed Ihattaren (6 million euros) and Mohammed Kudus (3 million euros), who, for various reasons, did not play much last season.
Just before his transfer to Ajax, Daramy was labeled by Ole Tobiasen as ‘Denmark’s greatest talent’. The former defender of the Amsterdam club suggested in the General Newspaper even that Daramy is better than Sulemana in one-on-one situations. Kevin Diks, who has been active for Copenhagen for several years, also lacked superlatives for the Ajax purchase. “I have seen many talents in my career, but he is in the top five,” said the ex-right back of Vitesse and Feyenoord, among others, last August. NOS†
It is therefore striking that during the season Daramy rarely showed why Ajax paid big money for him. What especially lingers is the unrest at the ball, the frequent loss of the ball and the failed actions. At no point did the Dane claim a basic place in the first team, not even when competitors dropped out due to injuries. That the now twenty-year-old Daramy did not even live up to the nine matches he played for Young Ajax should be cause for concern in Amsterdam.
Despite his disappointing debut season for Ajax, Daramy only has to tolerate two talents on the list of most promising Danish players: Maurits Kjaergaard (m) and Victor Kristiansen (r).
Status not lost yet
Despite his disappointing debut season for Ajax, Daramy is Football Transfers still regarded as one of Denmark’s greatest talents. Only two compatriots aged twenty or younger are currently ascribed a greater future. Daramy only has to tolerate Maurits Kjaergaard (18) of Red Bull Salzburg and Victor Kristiansen (19) of Openhagen. They represent transfer values of 4.4 and 1.7 million euros respectively.
If Daramy does not want to lose his status as a top talent, he will have to show more next season than he did last year. His chances of playing time will depend on his development, the plans of newfound trainer Alfred Schreuder and – most importantly – the amount of competition on the wing positions. If Antony remains and Bergwijn is taken over from Tottenham Hotspur, then Daramy does not seem to be able to count on a basic place. In addition, talents such as Naci Ünüvar and Axel Dongen’s Amourricho are increasingly knocking on the door. It promises to be an exciting season for Daramy. A season in which he has to show that he is worth his sky-high transfer fee.
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