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Feyenoord Captain Steven Berghuis Joins Rivals Ajax In Most Controversial Transfer In Eredivisie History

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Feyenoord Captain Steven Berghuis Joins Rivals Ajax In Most Controversial Transfer In Eredivisie History

Feyenoord captain Steven Berghuis is joining arch-rivals Ajax in "the most controversial transfer in the history of the Eredivisie".

Ajax have confirmed they have reached an agreement with Feyenoord for the services of the former Watford winger, who will sign a four-year contract pending a medical.

Reports say the transfer fee for the Netherlands international is a mere €5.5 million - a bargain for Ajax as they look to defend their Dutch league crown next term.

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But Feyenoord fans are livid over the sale of their talisman and skipper and videos of supporters burning his shirt were shared online when it emerged he would be leaving Rotterdam for Amsterdam.

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Berghuis's reasons behind the move stem from his desire to win trophies, play in the Champions League and remain in contention for the Netherlands national team.

"I am 29 years old, and it's no secret that I wanted to take the next step," Berghuis told the official Ajax website.

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"It is important to me to further develop myself in the sport.

"When making the choice for my new club, in addition to my development as a football player, I was very much looking for the combination of playing for trophies, playing in the UEFA Champions League and staying in the picture with the national team. At Ajax I think this all coincides."

Berghuis will become the latest player to turn out on both sides of the 'Der Klassiker', following in the footsteps of the likes of Henk Groot, Jon Everse, Win Jansen, Johan Cruyff and Arnold Scholten.

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Remco Ravenhorst, the chairman of Feyenoord's supporters club, has said the fans feel "betrayed" by Berghuis' decision to sign for Ajax.

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The player is in line to receive a hostile reception when Feyenoord host Ajax in the league on 19 December, which just so happens to be the day Berghuis celebrates his 30th birthday.

Berghuis was a key member of the Feyenoord side that won the club's first league title for 18 years in the 2016/17 campaign.

Image: pA
Image: pA

In all competitions, the ex AZ and FC Twente man achieved a sublime tally of 87 goals and 64 assists in 199 games.

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Hailing the capture, Ajax's director of football Marc Overmars said: "Steven is an important Dutch player. He has made strides in recent years and has established himself in the national team as well.

"The opportunity presented itself to bring him to Ajax and we think we can use his skills well.

"Recent seasons at Ajax show that we play a lot of matches, so it is important that we have options at every position. With Berghuis we're bringing in a creative attacker with a high return.

"His stats speak for themselves. Together with the other technical staff at Ajax I think there is still room for improvement, we think he can become an even better player with us. He can start showing that this summer."

Topics: Football, Ajax, Feyenoord

Josh Lawless
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