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Steven Berghuis: from being a rival to becoming a fan favorite

The transfer of Steven Berghuis to Ajax last summer was the transfer that stood out the most in the Netherlands, without a doubt. It does not happen often that a player leaves Feyenoord to sign for biggest rival Ajax. Berghuis did it for a fee of only €5,5 million. In Rotterdam, he is not being loved a lot anymore, but in Amsterdam, he is getting a fan favorite more and more. How did he become one in what is just his first year?

After Arnold Scholten, Henk Groot, Johan Cruijff, Angelos Charisteas, and Kenneth Vermeer, Steven Berghuis is only the sixth player to make a transfer from Feyenoord to Ajax or the other way around.

Because of the phenomenal performances of Antony on the right-wing, Berghuis had to compete with Davy Klaassen for the number 10 position. Berghuis absolutely grabbed his chance when he had the chance. If we take a look at his statistics, we see that he only played six games on the right-wing, in which he assisted two and scored none. When he was placed on the number 10 position, he almost never got off again. Since then, he played 21 games on the number 10, in which he scored eight and assisted seven. Last week, he even got to play as a central midfielder, where he fills in the role of a playmaker. Even in that position, he accelerated to a very high level.

In the graph below we can see his Player Level during his whole career. It is impressive to see how he developed himself in the younger years of his career, but maybe it is even more impressive to see how he developed since he came to Ajax, at a later age. The graph shows that the transfer to Ajax was the perfect move for his career, because he started at a lower Player Level than the Team Average, and worked himself towards that level, and even further.

If we take a look at the Player Level of the whole Ajax squad, Steven Berghuis is above the average with a Player Level of 3840. Because of the impressive form that Ajax is having this season, it is quite impressive that a player that is having his first season is already above the average. Another thing that stands out in the graph is that Berghuis even has a higher Player Level than the current right winger, Antony.

Even though it was a remarkable transfer to make, it is safe to say Berghuis made a good choice by going to a club with a higher Average Team Level than his Player Level. He is pushing himself to new limits and is showing that week in week out.

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