Belgian international winger Tom Soetaers has joined AFC Ajax from Dutch rivals Roda JC - ending nearly two weeks of uncertainty over his future.
The 23-year-old, who scored 23 goals in 98 games for Roda, has signed a four-year contract with the Amsterdam club. The financial terms have not been disclosed. Roda had initially wanted Ajax attacker Wamberto in return, only for Ajax coach Ronald Koeman to refuse.
"For my development it is good to take this step now," said Soetaers. "I know I won't play 34 matches a season, but I am full of confidence." Soetaers is likely to play on Ajax's left wing, replacing Cedric van der Gun and Noureddine Boukhari who have been told they are no longer in Koeman's plans.
Soetaers, who was contracted to Roda until 2005, started his career at RSC Anderlecht but played just seven times before moving to Roda in February 2000. He will hope his new team can reach the UEFA Champions League group stage, after a 1-1 draw at Grazer AK in their third qualifying round first leg on Tuesday.
Soetaers is a key man in Belgium's UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying campaign. He was named yesterday in his country's squad for the friendly against the Netherlands to be played in Brussels next Wednesday.
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