One 2 Watch – Ricardo Kishna

by Richard Wilkins

Ricardo Kishna19 | Ajax | Left Wing/Striker

How do the Dutch seem to get it right when it comes to youth? A catalogue of names have been produced over the decades from the ranks at the Orange Army including Marco van Basten, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Ruud Van Nistelrooy to name a few, not to mention the Johan Cruyff’s, Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf’s, Marc Overmars and Patrick Kluivert’s that once existed. Ajax have been true representatives of this philosophy with the De Boer brothers becoming household names before they hit the big time in La Liga.

Kisnha is technically exciting, with talented and nimble feet, he could become one of Dutch football’s biggest academic prodigies. With uncertainty over his future due to his contract hitting its expiry this summer the interest has begun to start pouring in. His potential has already marked an expectation and the Dutch tend to hit the nail on the head when promoting young talent. It is rumoured there is a list of teenagers coming out of the Netherlands once again. Players are given the platform to stage their skills, to learn from their mistakes and openly prepare for superstar futures.

Kishna’s parent club Ajax have been busy trying to fend off interest with likes of Liverpool and Manchester City leading those who seem to be tempted. The player’s agent Mino Raiola, representative of world class talent including the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Mario Balotelli on his register, seems ready to increase the youngster’s terms beyond the Dutch champion’s capacity to compress them into a sale. Ajax are a renowned selling club with their European glory days long behind them despite being listed as one of the top twenty most successful club of the 20th century.

The 19-year-old began his career under local side VUC Den Haag before joining Eredivisie side ADO Den Haag in their academy set-up as a child. At 14, Kishna was given the opportunity to sign for Ajax after ADO Den Haag admitted they had to allow the player to live up to his potential. The attacker, who can play both as a forward as well as on the wing was first linked to Merseyside in 2011 under Kenny Dalglish’s managerial era. He decided to opt out of a move to sign a new three-year contract at Ajax for development purposes.

Kishna has appeared in the UEFA Youth League this season and has subsequently caught the eye of first team manager Frank De Boer. The Dutchman has been a part of the senior training squad this winter and played his unofficial debut in a friendly against Trabzonspor in Turkey.

De Boer is keen to keep the player, although Kishna has already gone on record on the Ajax fanzone confessing how he would like to add either Barcelona or Real Madrid to his CV one day. He has yet to flatter us with statistics but has demonstrated a dynamic attitude and a burning aspiration to elevate his ability. Like all adolescent performers he has an instinctive selfishness and egotism due to his willingness to become the talk of the town. He thrives upon being a supplier but also enjoys latching onto assists to bury the ball into the back of the net.

The politics of his game illustrate how the complex parts of the sport can be tackled with imagination and creativity. Former Ajax youth coach Robin Pronk has said he is a player who can make things happen when he has the ball at his feet. Similarities remind us of the blissful and elegant attacking displays put on by Angel di Maria, whilst Kishna’s striking capabilities are said to reminisce the technique imposed by Manchester United’s Robin van Persie.

Regardless of his short term career preference, Kishna has the silver spoon in his palms which could give him the perfect recipe for a great concoction. Should he take on the advice of his ancestors and consume the fact that there is plenty of competition fighting for the same opportunities he has on his plate seriously, the game could have another majestic servant under its belt. At 19, it could be of the opinion that he is a late developer considering the pressure put on the youth of today to become the next household name. We are yet to know whether Kishna may implode like others who have attempted to grace the big stage and ultimately failed, but with the resources available to him we could be looking at a future prospect who could be worth a few pounds in the next couple of years.

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Richard Wilkins

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