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The Iceland international has all the characteristics that his new club look for in a striker as he follows in the footsteps of some illustrious players in Amsterdam

FEATURE
By Stefan Coerts

On Monday, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson finally completed his dream move from AZ to Ajax after lengthy negotiations. The Iceland international had also attracted the interest of PSV, Twente, Borussia Dortmund and several Premier League clubs, but he only wanted to move to Amsterdam, rejecting the advances of all other teams that were after him. He was rewarded for his patience and determination with a four-year deal.

The 21-year-old's desire to ply his trade with the Eredivisie champions in the 2011-12 campaign is rather easy to explain. Sigthorsson doesn't believe he is ready to leave the Netherlands just yet, however, he is keen to play Champions League football and Ajax are the only Dutch outfit that can offer that right now. Additionally, head coach Frank de Boer has almost guaranteed the striker a starting berth. Add to that the fact that Ajax represent a perfect stepping stone for a move to a European giant and it's clear why he was so keen on a move to the Amsterdam ArenA.

CAREER STATISTICS | Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (Ajax & Iceland)

Age: 21

Contract: 2015
Position: Striker

Value: €5m

 Clubs:
HK, AZ, Ajax
Games Goals Goals per game
Caps
Goals
 37
16 0.43 4 2

To eventually earn himself a transfer to one of the world's elite clubs, Sigthorsson will have to impress in his new surroundings first. However, that is not the easiest of tasks. Unlike at so many other teams, there's more to the No. 9 position at Ajax than just scoring goals.

In order to become a success, a striker has to be capable of playing a role in Ajax's intricate attacking patterns. He not only has to be the one who finishes off a move, but has to play his part in building up an attack too. The typical Ajax frontman often plays with his back toward the opposition goal to make himself available for passes from midfield. His next move is then to set up one of his wingers or play a one-two with the man who started the advance. Furthermore, an Ajax striker's movement off the ball generally has the purpose of creating space for one of his team-mates rather than going for goal himself.

Former Barcelona and Netherlands star Patrick Kluivert perfectly embodied all that Ajax
 AJAX STRIKERS OF THE 21ST CENTURY
Ibrahimovic Huntelaar Suarez



2001 - 2004
2006 - 2009
2007 - 2011
look for in a striker. The now 35-year-old scored 'only' 39 league goals during his three seasons in Amsterdam, but attacking midfielder Jari Litmanen hugely benefited from Kluivert's intelligent play as he netted an impressive 37 strikes during that period.

Ajax never truly found a replacement for Kluivert after Holland's all-time top scorer departed for AC Milan in the summer of 1997, but plenty of illustrious names have taken up the striking burden since. Players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar plied their trade in Amsterdam before moving on, while Luis Suarez netted 35 Eredivisie goals in 33 games in the one season he spent leading the line.

With Sigthorsson, Ajax have finally found a forward with the characteristics they require. The former AZ ace is not yet at the same level as Kluivert in his heyday, but his movement, physical presence, feeling for position and eye for combinations will remind the club's fans of the former Dutch international.

At this point, it's impossible to say whether Sigthorsson will succeed in Amsterdam and the 2011-12 campaign could prove to be crucial for his career. One thing is certain, however - he has some big boots to fill in Amsterdam.

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