Viktor Fischer - What can we expect?
As Middlesbrough prepare for life in the Premier League, manager Aitor Karanka, has wasted no time delving in to the transfer market.
The Spaniard has not looked towards his home country for his new signing but has instead turned to legendary Dutch club Ajax and spent £3.8 million on Danish player, Viktor Fischer.
The 21-year-old had just one year left on his contract at the Eredevisie team and this played a part in obtaining the player for a lower fee than perhaps his talent should demand. It was rumoured Red Bull Salzburg were also interested in the player and the Austrian team could offer Champions League football next season but Fischer had his sights set on playing in the Premier League. So, what can the player offer Boro next season?
During the 2015/16 Eredivisie season, Fischer played 28 times for Ajax, although 18 of those appearances came from the bench. Despite that, Fischer scored 8 goals and claimed 3 assists. In the Europa League, Fischer started 6 games, scoring 2 goals and registering 1 assist. During those 6 games, he was substituted 5 times. Therefore, on the face of it, Fischer appears to be a player who can make an impact in short bursts, whether it be from the bench or starting the match, before being withdrawn.
Having started at Ajax as a right winger, Fischer moved across to the left side and can play out wide or through the middle. The Danish international is a strong player, with good technical ability but not a tricky winger, like many Ajax have produced in the past. Fischer is more deliberate on the ball and is a powerful dribbler. When in form, he is capable of scoring plenty of goals but when out of form, he has been known to put in some disappointing performances. This may be the main reason why he regularly fails to play a full 90 minutes but Karanka will be hoping to make the player more consistent and at the age of 21, there is time for that to happen.
Fischer did suffer a long term injury lay-off during the 2014/15 season and that was partly why he was struggling to find a regular starting place in the Ajax team this season. However, the injury is behind him now and he is fully fit. The move from the Eredivisie to the Premier League can be a difficult one for players but Fischer has the ability and physical attributes to succeed. Fischer is a player who is capable of scoring goals and the Dane has the composure to do well in-front of goal next season. It will be interesting to see how Karanka uses him and whether he opts to give him a chance centrally, as opposed to playing out wide.
Let’s not forget, that after a fantastic debut season for Ajax in 2012/13, Europe’s biggest clubs were lining up to sign Fischer, including Bayern Munich and Manchester United. The long lay-off with injury has been a set-back but the raw talent and potential, to be an important player for Boro in the Premier League, is still very much there.