Ronald Koeman criticises Ajax striker Brian Brobbey: ‘His finishing is not good’

'You saw that his first touch and the way he finished was not good.'

Ronald Koeman criticises Ajax striker Brian Brobbey: ‘His finishing is not good’
Ajax striker Brian Brobbey
Brian Brobbey has scored four goals in the Eredivisie for Ajax this season (Shutterstock)

Netherlands head coach Ronald Koeman has criticised Brian Brobbey by claiming that the Ajax striker’s first touch and finishing is ‘not good’.

The 21-year-old scored 13 goals for Ajax in the Eredivisie last season and has scored four in 10 league appearances this term.

Brobbey earned his first senior call the Netherlands national side last month and was given his debut as a second-half substitute in the 1-0 win against Greece.

But Koeman admits he was unimpressed by Brobbey’s technique and has questioned the level of coaching he has received at Ajax.

‘I still hope he continues to develop,’ Koeman told Ziggo Sport.

‘We had him with the Dutch team during the previous international break. We were shooting and you saw that his first touch and the way he finished was not good.

Netherlands striker Brian Brobbey
Ronald Koeman says he was unimpressed with Brian Brobbey’s finishing for the Netherlands (Shutterstock)

‘Then I wonder – what do you do as a striker at the clubs you have been to? And with all due respect, that John Bosman now becomes the striker coach that Brobbey is looking up to. How long has Brobbey been at Ajax? He went to Leizpig in between, came back, didn’t play… as a technical staff, aren’t you going to do your best?’

Brobbey came through Ajax’s academy and was managed by Erik ten Hag in the Dutch club’s first team. The striker claimed last year that Ten Hag had contacted him over a potential move to Manchester United but he opted to remain at Ajax.

Ronald de Boer, who coached Brobbey with Ajax’s academy, said to Koeman: ‘I had him as a youth, he was always like that.

‘He never really had the finishing touch. Against Heerenveen I thought he was one of the better players. He was dragging his feet.’

Ajax striker Brian Brobbey with Erik ten Hag
Brian Brobbey claims Erik ten Hag wanted to sign him for Manchester United (EPA)

Koeman replied: ‘Yes, that’s about the fact that he is fitter and does more. But I’m talking about finishing. In my opinion you can learn that. If you train on finishing every day, at a certain point you will technically finish better.’

De Boer then said: ‘He can get a little better, but if he couldn’t do it all these years, it’s not suddenly going to be great.’

Former Netherlands international Marco van Basten added: ‘It’s not about immediately becoming a superstar in heading or finishing, but you can get much better. Practice makes perfect. This boy has been with Ajax since he was six. So what have they been doing for ten years?

‘You can see that he is uncomfortable with finishing and heading. They must have seen that when he was eight, ten or twelve. That is a drama from Ajax.’

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