Ajax end former PSV winger Ihattaren’s Italian exile with loan signing

Mo Ihattaren playing for PSV against ADO Den Haag in February 2021. Photo: ANP/Maurice van Steen
Mo Ihattaren playing for PSV against ADO Den Haag in February 2021. Photo: ANP/Maurice van Steen

Former PSV winger Mo Ihattaren is returning to the Netherlands after Ajax agreed a loan deal with his current club Juventus.

The 19-year-old will play initially for Ajax’s youth team in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie to gain match experience. Director of football Marc Overmars described him as ‘one of the biggest talents in our country’ but said he had to work on his personal issues.

Ihattaren left Eindhoven in the summer and was immediately loaned out to Serie A strugglers Sampdoria, but never played for the Genoa team and returned to the Netherlands without permission in October.

The Serie A side have threatened to sue the player after he told the Telegraaf this month that they had broken several agreements and failed to pay him a salary or arrange medical insurance. Sampdoria described the claims as ‘fanciful allegations without any foundation’.

Fitness challenge

Photos on social media indicate Ihattaren has gained weight since leaving Italy and has reportedly been working on his fitness with former Dutch international winger Gerald Vanenburg. His last season at PSV was characterised by widely publicised rifts with coach Roger Schmidt.

The Amsterdam club are understood to have secured an option to buy Ihattaren for around €2 million when his loan period ends on December 31.

‘We are offering him this chance and we’re going to help him, but obviously it starts with him and he knows that,’ Overmars said.

Ajax are also hoping to sign Steven Bergwijn from Tottenham Hotspur before the end of the transfer window. An initial bid of €18 million was rejected last month and reports suggest the London club are asking for around €25 million, which would break the club record of €22.5 million paid for Sébastian Haller a year ago.

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