Over the years, Holland has been one of the elite nations in terms of producing young football talent. You think of the world famous system they have at Ajax, which has brought through some of the legends of the game including Johann Cruyff and Dennis Bergkamp.
Now there is another less high profile club starting to gain a big reputation for nurturing youngsters and that is AZ Alkmaar. The club currently sit in fourth place in the Dutch Eredivisie and with the conveyor belt of talent coming through, things are looking good for them.
This article will highlight a couple of names coming through whom we should be looking out for in the coming seasons.
The first is attacking midfielder, Guus Tils. He spent most of last season on loan at Jong AZ and his consistency earned him a shot at the first team this season that he has grabbed with both hands. He has five goals in eleven league games so far and his dribbling ability and eye for goal have really impressed so far.
He is tall and very strong and difficult to knock off the ball and has also been a key player for the Dutch Under-21s and it is only a matter of time before the bigger clubs come calling.
Then there is 17-year-old midfielder Thijs Oosting who is another youngster turning heads. After just one season, the club have already offered him a new big contract tying him to the club until 2020.
“Thijs is a very talented midfielder. He is technically gifted, has a lot of running ability and a great technique. Last season, he was elected the Youth Player of the Month in March and was a permanent fixture at Orange Under 17. That says a lot about his development.”
Oosting is a centre midfielder but can play out wide. He is a superb passer, has a wonderful right foot, and is so dangerous at set pieces. He is still with under-19s but it is only going to be a matter of time before he gets in the first-team.