The unfortunate yearly draining of talent from the Dutch Eredivisie has continued in fine form this summer. Though no club is grimacing as much as AZ Alkmaar.
Despite AZ head coach Pascal Jensen insisting in early July that his side would not entertain any bids from Eredivisie rivals, that hasn’t stopped them welcoming bids from elsewhere on the continent.
Whilst the past month has seen them recoup over €40million in transfer fees, the income is hardly positive.
The outgoings included two very highly-rated homegrown departures to French Ligue 1. The latest departure was Myron Boadu leaving for Monaco earlier this week. The speedy 20-year-old forward had tallied 88 appearances for AZ, scoring an impressive 33 goals.
His exit follows a recent trend having also seen Calvin Stengs leave for Ligue 1 outfit Nice, with the winger having accumulated 32 goal involvements across 77 Eredivisie appearances.
Both Stengs and Boadu, not only very promising members but already key parts of the AZ Alkmaar squad, will find their presence sorely missed.
Other departures include first-choice goalkeeper Marco Bizot to Stade Brest 29 and Norwegian full-back Jonas Svensson to Adana Demirspor.
However, worst might yet come for AZ fans.
Talk is ongoing regarding the future of another homegrown product and vital club captain Teun Koopmeiners. The industrious central midfielder is rumoured to be attracting interest from Jose Mourinho’s Roma having seen their initial target Granit Xhaka opt to sign a new contract at Arsenal.
Koopmeiners has also been linked with Roma’s Serie A rivals Atalanta and French Ligue 1’s Stade Rennes.
Add to this the constant noise around the future of exciting wing-back Owen Wijndal, who featured for Netherlands at the delayed Euro 2020, and the AZ fans may find themselves in a bit of a pickle this coming season.
Any incomings have done nothing to calm any worries with Vangelis Pavlidis being the only forward addition thus far – though an interesting acquisition nonetheless having scored 12 goals for Willem II last season.
It all begs the question of how clubs like AZ Alkmaar might pose a future challenge to not only domestic rivals but also continental sides. Are they now happy to only be a feeder club for the bigger fish?
Surely you can afford to sell one, maybe two, highly rated academy products each season for a profit. However, their model as seen this summer pose more questions than answers.
Recall Louis van Gaal’s triumphant side of 2008/09. An AZ Alkmaar team with the likes of Myron Boadu, Calvin Stengs, Teun Koopmeiners and Owen Wijndal had potential to challenge the recent Ajax Eredivisie domination as van Gaal successfully did back then.
Now all we have is the romantic speculation of what might have been for Pascal Jansen and this once promising AZ squad.