Dutch title holders AFC Ajax have reinforced their defence ahead of the UEFA Champions League group stage with the signing of Mike van der Hoorn from FC Utrecht.
The 20-year-old centre-back has inked a four-year deal to commit him to the Amsterdam ArenA until 30 June 2017. Brought through the Utrecht youth academy, Van der Hoorn made his first-team debut in 2011 and became a regular last season as Utrecht earned a place in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round. He joins for an undisclosed fee.
"I am very happy," said Van der Hoorn. "This is the most beautiful club in the Netherlands. Ajax have been champions the past three seasons and I hope that will also happen in the next four years."
Van der Hoorn represented the Jong Oranje at the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Israel, alongside Ajax players Daley Blind, Danny Hoesen and Ricardo van Rhijn. "During the tournament we spoke about me coming to Ajax and they said 'do it' immediately," he said. "I have only heard positive things. There is a lot of competition in defence, but that can only make me stronger. I hope to learn a lot from Frank de Boer and Jaap Stam, who were the best defenders in the world in their time."
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