Everton snap up Ajax star Klaassen

Premier League

LONDON – Everton have boosted their ranks for next season by signing Ajax Amsterdam’s Netherlands midfielder Davy Klaassen and promising young Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford on Thursday.

Klaassen has joined the Premier League club until June 2022 for 27 million euros, while Pickford has also signed a five-year deal for an initial fee of 25 million pounds.

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Davy Klaassen holds off Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan during the Europa League final. Photo: ReutersSunderland gpalkeeper Jordan Pickford dominates in the air against Hull. Photo: Reuters

The 24-year-old Ajax captain Klaassen, a product of their famed academy, scored 49 goals in 163 games for the club.

He also helped the Dutch side to reach this year’s Europa League final, where they lost to Manchester United.

Attacking midfielder Klaassen was persuaded to join Everton by their renowned Dutch coach Ronald Koeman. “He’s an honest guy, we talked about the club, about the way he wants to play, and that gave me a positive feeling,” Klaassen told Everton TV.

“It’s difficult to leave Ajax, but I think this is a good step for me now, and I’m really looking forward to my time here.”

Klaassen has 14 caps after making his Netherlands debut in a friendly against France in 2014, scoring four goals. “He’s a player who is only 24, but has a lot of experience and is a leader on the pitch,” said Koeman.

“He has already captained Ajax for two seasons and that shows you the type of person he is. He is hardworking, likes to press and, of course, will give us more creativity and goals.”

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has splashed the cash in the off-season. Photo: Reuters

Pickford, who got his first call-up to England’s senior squad in October, was one of the best players in a Sunderland side that finished bottom in the top-flight last season.

Speaking about his move to Merseyside, the 23-year-old told the team website ( “It’s a great club, a massive club and I think it’s a great opportunity and the right time for me to come to Everton and show what I can do.”

Pickford, whose fee which could rise to 30 million pounds based on team and individual performances, is in Poland with the England Under-21s, and the move to Everton will not be completed until July 1, when the international transfer window opens.

Everton finished seventh in the Premier League last term and qualified for the Europa League third qualifying round.

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