Brian Brobbey: The Young Phenom Leading the Line for Ajax

Name: Brian Brobbey 

Club: Ajax 

Nationality: Dutch 

Position: Forward – Centre Forward 

Preferred Foot: Right 

Height: 5’11”/180cm 

Age: 22 

Boasting superlative physicality and lethal finishing in front of goal, Brian Brobbey has continued to exert dominance over Eredivisie defenders, his goal tally currently stands at 15 goals and has provided 7 assists in 23 Eredivisie games for Ajax so far this season. The Dutch international rose through the ranks, kick-starting his youth career with Amsterdamsche Football Club before heading across Amsterdam and making a switch to Ajax academy in 2010.


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The then 18-year-old was finally able to make his Eredivisie debut for Ajax on 31 October 2020 under current Manchester United boss Erik Ten Hag in a game against Fortuna Sittard. He was introduced as a substitute and instantly made an impact, scoring Ajax’s third goal of the game in the 74th minute. At the end of the season, Brobbey joined RB Leipzig on a free transfer, arriving on a contract through 2025.


And yet, after finding minutes hard to come by in Germany, Brobbey returned to Ajax on loan in December 2021. He impressed in his return to Ajax, scoring 7 goals in 11 league appearances and convincing Ajax to sign him on a permanent deal after his loan expired. Ajax signed him on a five-year contract for a fee of €16.35 million plus €3 million in potential add ons, and since returning to the Johan Cruyff Arena, he has proven to be a valuable focal point in Ajax’s attack and undoubtedly a great attacking threat to opposition defenders. 


Brobbey’s G/A (goals + assists) currently stands at 22 in 23 games so far this season which equates to 1.02 per 90 minutes owing to his excellent link-up play, ball retention, and shot volume in the opposition’s penalty box registering 52 shots with 31 of those shots on target, a shooting accuracy of 59.62%.


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He records a goal for every 3.71 shots and takes an average of 2.58 shots per 90 minutes a solid indicator of a volume shooter who can create goal-scoring chances for himself displaying superb technicality in the opposition box overpowering and holding off defenders. The young forward has been instrumental to Ajax’s campaign even with the team’s poor start to the season and inconsistencies, Coach John Van’t Schip’s side needs a fit and an on-form Brobbey to have hopes of finishing in the Eredivisie top four salvaging their season. 


A look into his ball passing aspects shows he’s completed 304 of 378 total passes made so far in the Eredivisie with a pass completion rate of 80.42%, he creates significant goal-scoring chances making an average of 1.89 key passes per 90 minutes with his xA (Expected Assists) currently standing at 0.27 per 90 minutes.


Brobbey is strong, quite pacy on the ball and possesses the ability to drive the ball forward quickly but lacks in his defensive abilities and contribution when out of possession. He isn’t the most dedicated when it comes to tracking back and pressing the defenders, but this hasn’t stopped him from making a name for himself in senior football.


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He has been repeatedly been linked with a move to Manchester United firstly in the summer of 2022 which he turned down in favour of re-joining Ajax after Manchester United’s manager Erik Ten Hag personally tried convincing him to join the premier league side from RB Leipzig. United  would be looking to bring another forward in the summer with Anthony Martial expected to leave, paving the way for Brobbey’s possible reunion with Ten Hag at Old Trafford. 


Although eligible to play for Ghana, he rose through the ranks of the Netherlands youth system featuring in the U15 and U17 teams where he won the 2018 and 2019 UEFA Euro Under-17 Championship scoring a total of 16 goals in 24 appearances. He also represented The Netherlands U19 and U21 national teams before being handed his senior national team debut for the Netherlands by Coach Ronald Koeman back in October 2023 in the 2024 UEFA Euro qualifier against Greece coming on as a substitute. 


Since making his debut for the Oranje, Brobbey has been named the Eredivisie Player of the Month for December and January, and whilst he faces tough competition from the likes of Joshua Zirkzee, Thijs Dallinga, Wout Weghorst and Cody Gakpo, he will be looking to earn a spot in the Netherlands’ roster for the upcoming European Championships in Germany this summer.


By: Ogenyi Paul / @234programmer

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Soccrates Images – Getty Images