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Urby Emanuelson

January 24, 2011

AC Milan latest signing is Urby Emanuelson from Ajax. He becomes the 12th Dutchman to play for AC Milan, and the 6th that comes directly from Ajax (before him: Marco van Basten, Patrick Kluivert, Edgar Davids, Michael Reiziger and Winston Bogarde).

Emanuelson is an intriguing football player. A product of Ajax youth system, he is very technical and skillful with a sweet left foot, yet at the same time also very prone to lapses in concentration. His position is best described as “left”. He has played all left positions at Ajax. His debut in 2005 was at left back, even though he was playing as an attacking midfielder in the youth teams, because Maxwell (now at Barcelona) was injured. So basically a make-shift left back who then also played as a left midfielder and left winger. To emphasize this point, Emanuelson has been assigned jerseys #5 (left back), #8 (left midfield) and #11 (left wing) during his time at Ajax.

One of his main attributes is his technical ability. He is a natural footballer who always tries to find a footballing solution (instead of hoofing the ball to row Z). On the other hand, as a defender he is very prone to lapses in concentration. That is why he doesn’t have a proper fixed position. He isn’t good enough as a defender but is giving the team proper attacking impulses, yet as a left winger he lacks something as well.

He has played for Netherlands as left back, but this was back in 2006-2007. His name was mentioned for the World Cup but as a left midfielder he had to fight against the likes of Robben, Kuijt, Affelay, Elia and Babel. Not much of a chance there.

So he (or more precisely, Mino Raiola) managed to get a contract with AC Milan. It’s a big step up for him. Technically he will have no problem playing there. I just hope for his sake that he can keep focused for 90 minutes long. If he can do that, he’ll do fine at AC Milan.

And even though he does most things with his left foot, his best goal ever is with his right. I don’t think he’ll ever score a goal as beautiful as this one, but if he does I’ll be cheering for him as well. Best of luck at AC Milan Urby!

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