Never short of young talent, AFC Ajax look to have unearthed yet another gem in 18-year-old Danish international Viktor Fischer.
Fischer scored twice in Sunday's 3-0 Eredivisie home win against Feyenoord – the first 'Klassieker' of the season – in what is proving to be an eye-catching breakthrough campaign. The versatile forward already has five league goals this term, having also made his UEFA Champions League and senior Denmark debuts in the past three months.
"Before the match [against Feyenoord] I had a good feeling, but now I feel fantastic," the Aarhus-born Fischer said in perfect Dutch after the game. "When I receive the ball I act spontaneously and do what feels right at the time. Like with the first goal, I decided to go past the keeper. Though I decided the match in two moments, I could have done better as I lost the ball too often."
Despite setting himself such high standards, Fischer has attracted fulsome praise from elsewhere. Ajax coach Frank de Boer singled out the teenager's poise for his second goal against Feyenoord – a volley after dispossessing Joris Mathijsen. "It proves we brought him here for a reason and that he is a huge talent," said the former Dutch international. "When you can keep calm like that at a moment like that, in such high pressure, then it proves you can play football."
That much was clear as early as summer 2011, when a 16-year-old Fischer helped Denmark to the semi-finals of the UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Serbia. Denying interest from a host of high-profile clubs, he had already agreed a move from FC Midtjylland to Ajax. It was a natural fit for a player with an abundance of skill and for a club honed in the art of nurturing talent.
Furthermore, consider the likes of Søren Lerby, Frank Arnesen, Jesper Olsen and Michael Laudrup and there is a good tradition of Danish players at the Amsterdam side. Fischer included, four started against Feyenoord: Christian Eriksen, who was also on the mark, Lasse Schøne and Christian Poulsen. Fellow countryman Kenneth Perez, who also scored twice for Ajax against Feyenoord in 2006, expects big things from Fischer.
"He has the capacity to one day be among the best three players in the world," said Perez. "He has the intelligence and the personality. He knows what it's all about, even at this young age. Viktor combines technical qualities with mental abilities. That is what you saw against Feyenoord, when he had a real 'Laudrup moment' with the first goal. He received the ball, seemed to want to shoot at goal, then changed his mind in a split second to drag the ball with him." Heady stuff indeed.
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.