Two goals and an assist on his full debut boosted Viktor Fischer’s profile as the 18-year-old Ajax forward ensured his side won their first game in over a month and clinched a place in the national team in a man of the match performance. A fantastic season at Under 19 level followed by a bright start to the current campaign suggests that the latest graduate of the club’s esteemed youth system can fulfil the hype like so many before him.
The exciting prospect was called into the Ajax starting XI for the first time in the league on Sunday to face PEC Zwolle, despite having previously played a total of just 39 minutes in the Eredivisie across two substitute appearances.
The call from Frank de Boer capped off a wonderful week for the youngster in which he played four minutes in the Champions League against Man City in Ajax’s memorable 2-2 draw in midweek and even threatened to net a late winner with a shot which struck the side netting. The youngster was then given an even bigger lift the next day as he was called up to the Danish national team to play against Turkey as he received great compliments from coach Morten Olsen who said: “He is a fantastic footballer, who is developing rapidly and in top condition.”
Given Ajax’s world-class youth system De Toekomst (Dutch for “The Future”) and the club’s philosophy of bringing players into the first-team from a young age, it is no shock to see someone like Fischer come to light. But the timing of the Danish teenager’s emergence into the first-team has come as a surprise.
The teenager showed the depths of his talents last year with Ajax’s Under 19 side. Fischer’s speed, technical excellence and goalscoring ability made him a key component to the Jong Ajax side which reached the NextGen Series final. Fischer netted two goals against Barcelona in the quarter final before scoring a hat-trick in the next match against Liverpool. The player was one of Ajax’s best players in the final as they lost on penalties to Andrea Stramaccioni’s Inter Primavera side. Although the team were left disappointed, the player himself could only be delighted in finishing as the competition’s joint top scorer, alongside Jean Marie Dongou, with seven goals.
With his impressive displays in the Under 19 side, calls began to ring out from the boisterous Ajax support to see the youngster promoted to join fellow De Toekomst graduate Davy Klaassen in the senior side. But as recently as June, coach De Boer insisted that the teenager wasn’t ready to step up to the first team: “He is doing it well, but he must show that he is the best player in the A1 in every game. It will not help the boy if we bring him in too early and have to send him back to the A1.”
But the coach couldn’t ignore Fischer for too long and came calling early in the season as he was on the bench for the game against Heracles, coming on after 84 minutes as the reigning champions drew 3-3. The Aarhus-born forward was included in the starting XI for the first time as Ajax faced ONS Sneek in the KNVB Beker, scoring his first goal for the senior side in the 2-0 victory.
Sunday’s match against Zwolle gave Fischer the perfect opportunity to boost his profile and ensure he remained a significant part of De Boer’s plans as he was handed his first start in the Dutch top flight and it was an opportunity he took full advantage of. It took just 32 minutes for Fischer to open his account with the Amsterdam powerhouse, collecting the ball from his compatriot Eriksen before tucking it past Diederik Boer. He doubled his tally early in the second-half as winger Derk Boerrigter crossed to the backpost for Fischer to head home with ease. He then had an opportunity for a hat-trick as a fantastic Jody Lukoki cross found him in the box. The Denmark Under 21 international showed great awareness and intelligence in looking up in the tight position and teeing it up for captain Siem de Jong to fire into the net.
Fischer’s reaction to his man of the match winning display was one of quiet confidence. “They can say: he’s smart or technical, but if you ask me about my best asset, it’s scoring goals,” he said in his post-match interview with great confidence but minimal arrogance.
The NextGen Series runner-up is sure of his abilities, as are the Ajax fans’ who were made infinitely happier by the news that he is expected to sign a two-year extension with the Eredivisie giants which would tie him to the club until 2016.
Fischer, who has been nominated for the 2012 Danish Talent of the Year award of which the last two winners were Christian Eriksen and Nicolai Boilesen respectively, has a great future ahead of him. With two goals in three league games and a Champions League appearance under his belt already, things are only going to get better for the teenager.