Manchester United‘s young Dutch winger Gyliano van Velzen looks to have a bright future in the game. The lanky left winger may not have the appearance of a typical tricky winger, but van Velzen is a tall, skilful and pacy winger. The Dutchman can also be used up front, like he did for the youth team when first choice strikers Will Keane and John Cofie were injured.
Manchester United signed van Velzen from Dutch side Ajax. United’s scouting team had been watching van Velzen for a while and decided to act quickly after reported interest from other clubs around Europe.
Van Velzen is a product of the famous Ajax academy. The same academy that has produced the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Kluivert, Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart and the legend Marco van Basten.
The youngster had initially turned down an offer from Manchester United and decided to stay with Ajax’s under-17s. Van Velzen, who was affiliated with Ajax since he was 13 years old, then decided that a move to England was the right move to make. It was believed that United had offered the van Velzen family a house in the Manchester area and offering their son, Gyliano, a professional contract.
The deal of van Velzen to Manchester United angered Ajax. They felt that Manchester United had illegally poached their youngster and wrote to United’s chief executive David Gill asking for compensation. It is believed that if Ajax were not happy with Gill’s response, they will look at other avenues to take, although they would rather not take legal action.
Van Velzen joined Manchester United in November 2010. He started to impress during the 2011/12 season and only youth team star Tyler Beckett made more appearances than van Velzen. The Dutchman scored eight times and has seen his game starting to develop an end product on regular occasions. His impressive performances for the youth team saw Warren Joyce bring him into the reserve squad and hand him three substitute appearances.
At the start of this season, van Velzen was loaned to United’s partner club in Belgium, Royal Antwerp. Van Velzen started his loan spell brightly, scoring in a 2-0 win over Brussels. But his form dipped and he was sent back to Manchester United.
On his return, Royal Antwerp manager Dennis van Wijk told Voetbal international.
“He had a very good start, but then became a little tentative. He’s a young player. He’s very talented but that does not always play a role in whether or not they’ll reach the top. But he has enough quality.”
Next season will be interesting to see if Sir Alex Ferguson will look to introduce first team football to youngster.