Ajax have confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen on a four-year deal from FC Emmen.
The 19-year-old will officially join Ajax in July 2019 and is already their third new signing ahead of the summer, after the club’s moves for Kik Pierie and Razvan Marin.
Who is Ajax’s record-breaking third signing of the summer? Five key things to know…
- Kjell Scherpen is a goalkeeper who has come through the academy at FC Emmen.
- The teenager is playing in his first season in the Eredivisie for Emmen, starting every game so far.
- His 32 appearances is the joint-record for a teenage goalkeeper in the competition, level with Nico van Zoghel in 1961/62.
- And now Ajax have confirmed the goalkeeper will be joining them in the summer, after signing a four-year deal.
- Scherpen joins Kik Pierie and Razvan Marin as Ajax’s third signing of the summer.
Scherpen has featured in all 32 games for FC Emmen in the Eredivisie this season, conceding 70 and recording three clean sheets for the Dutch strugglers.
But despite the youngster’s seemingly poor record, Ajax director of football Marc Overmars harbours high hopes of the goalkeeper’s future.
“Kjell is a very big talent and it is great that he has opted for Ajax,” he told the club’s official website.
32 – Kjell Scherpen's 32 Eredivisie games as a teenager in a single Eredivisie season is a joint-record for a goalkeeper (shared with Nico van Zoghel in 1961-62). Experienced. pic.twitter.com/3RuQuNFAfu
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) April 24, 2019
“We are very satisfied with Andre Onana’s recent contract extension, but we are of course also looking to the future.
“Kjell will be one of the four goalkeepers in the first-team and will, therefore, be on the training field with the first team on a daily basis.
“He is also young enough to be able to keep matches in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie at Jong Ajax.”
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Scherpen’s bizarre punishment upon signing
While Scherpen will undoubtedly enjoy his time at Ajax with the Dutch club looking likely to embark on a bright future, reaching the semi-finals of this season’s Champions League, the teenager did have to endure some punishment upon signing.
In a funny video posted by the club’s official Twitter handle, Scherpen was filmed being made to write lines by Edwin van der Sar and Overmars saying, “Ajax is the finest club in the Netherlands”.
'Ajax is de mooiste club van Nederland' ?? pic.twitter.com/UusaaWT8mG
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) April 24, 2019
According to one Reddit user, this is due to pro-Feyenoord statements Scherpen had made in the past and the intense rivalry between the Rotterdam club and his new team.
At the time Ajax’s initial interest in Scherpen was reported, fans of the Amsterdam club unearthed these comments and were unhappy with the goalkeeper even going as far as starting a campaign against his signing.
But, hopefully, with his punishment, the club’s fans should be appeased.