While Coetzee is yet to be unveiled officially as a Hoops player, the Urban Warriors boss Ari Efstathiou has revealed that the 20-year-old’s transfer is one of the biggest transfers in the club’s history.
“It is one of the highest transfers. We made good millions. Millions sound better than thousands, hey. We are the biggest development team in South Africa. We are a big team. Ajax are all about taking young players and making them big. That’s what the team is about,” Efstathiou told Independent Media.
Coetzee will now follow in the footsteps of many Ajax greats, and Efstathiou has praised Ajax’s renowned academy for consistently producing such talent.
“Our youth academy process has been going for the past 18 years. This is not the first and it is not a fluke, and we will do a lot of these transfers in the years to come,” he said.
“When you have an academy, you coach the player properly and they get noticed. Rivaldo has been playing in the national team since he was 17. What we needed to do was to be careful and patient so that we can make sure we take him to the right team. We are glad the right team came forward,” Efstathiou explained.
Furthermore, the Ajax boss tips Coetzee to excel in Scotland.
“He is such a fantastic talent and there’s no reason he can’t shine. He will do well. He left at the right age. He has the experience of a 25-year-old. He is five years ahead of everybody,” Efstathiou said.
“Having a coach like Brendan Rodgers who loves him gives him the edge. He will do wonders in Scotland. We began talking a long time ago. We’ve been speaking for a while,” he added.
Meanwhile, Efstathiou acknowledged that there was no shortage of interest in Coetzee as Ajax had received several local offers for the defender’s services.
“Yes, we had offers from South African teams, but we wanted him to go to Europe. He won the MTN8, he has played in the Olympic Games and the Afcon. He has already played several times for Bafana. All he needed was an overseas move,” he concluded.