By Scott Taylor
Abdelhak Nouri, Vaclav Cerny and Zakaria El Azzouzi are all linked with a move to Premier League side Liverpool. The Reds sent scouts to watch the Ajax players last week in their UEFA Youth League defeat to Roma. As a result, Liverpool have shown interest to sign the trio.
Nouri is a player that is familiar to Liverpool already. The Holland Under-17 midfielder was awarded with the ‘Player Of The Tournament accolade in the Aegon Future Cup in April 2014. One stand-out performance was in the final, where he helped Ajax beat who else but Liverpool.
Nouri, 17, plays as a versatile midfielder, having played as a defensive midfielder, a central midfielder and an attacking midfielder in this season’s UEFA Youth League campaign. In the seven games he has played, he has scored two and assisted three other goals, showing his importance to the Ajax side. Even more so when his contributions came against sides such as PSG and Barcelona.
As well as playing in the midfielder, Nouri can also play on the wing, something he has been doing for his national side. He has played seven games for the Under-17s, but has since been promoted to the national side’s Under-19s setup. Although he has only featured three times, Nouri has made a big impact, scoring three times including a brace against Andorra in October 2014.
Cerny, 17, is Czech winger for the Dutch side, but he can play on either the left or the right wing. Like Nouri, he also featured seven times in the UEFA Youth League. He also shone against Europe’s elite, scoring against the Catalan giants and making assists against the French champions. Similar to Nouri he has represented his country at both Under-17 and Under-19 level as well. Cerny is a Czech Republic youth international, featuring three times for both the Under-17s and Under-19s. Most recently, the scored one and assisted the other in Czech Republic’ 2-0 win over Northern Ireland.
Cerny hasn’t always been at Ajax however. Before he signed in January 2014 for £660,000, he played for FK Pribram in his native country. He then signed for the club which has a reputation of producing very talented youngsters. He has attracted interest from both Manchester clubs, Chelsea and Juventus to name a few, with now Liverpool joining that list.
Finally El Azzouzi, 18, is the third and final Ajax player that Liverpool are looking at. He is a centre forward who has a habit of scoring goals. Despite playing only four games in this season’s UEFA Youth League, El Azzouzi found the back of the net six times, scoring on average every 32 minutes. The Moroccan has been with the Dutch club since he was a youngster, and has since progressed through the Under-19 and then into the Under-21s side.
He is the player most likely to break into the Ajax first-team soon, so Liverpool should prioritise him or risk losing a top prospect in the form of El Azzouzi.