Dest continuing to make most of Ajax first team chances
Sergino Dest has continued to prove his worth with the Ajax first team.
The U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team defender made his third start of the season in all competitions on Saturday, playing the full 90 minutes in Ajax’s 4-1 Eredivisie win over VVV Venlo. It was his first league start of the season for Erik ten Hag’s side who are seeking a repeat as league champs. It was a comfortable performance for Dest who is showing confidence with the step up in competition.
“I’ll grab every chance I get. Last season I played in the U-19’s,” Dest said postmatch. “Now I already had more chances than I expected. The level is high, of course. It is up to me to reach to that level as well now.”
Dest came into the match after making his debut in the UEFA Champions League midweek. He played the second half of Ajax’s second leg with over Greek outfit PAOK Salonika, which advanced the Dutch side into the final round of qualifying.
The 18-year-old finished Saturday’s win with a 91% passing completion rate, while also recording one shot on goal and contributing one key pass and one successful cross into the box. Defensively, he won one duel and helped limit the Venlo attacking front to one shot on goal in the full 90 minutes. It was another step in the right direction for the young defender.
“He enforced it himself,” ten Hag said. “He showed what he can bring during pre season. He is there to defend, but we also need wingbacks who can attack. Sergiño is a total wingback.”
Ajax has yet to suffer a defeat this new season, winning two of their opening three league matches and lifting the Dutch Super Cup earlier this summer against PSV. Up next is a two-legged tie in the fourth qualifying round of the Champions League against Apoel Nicosia, with the winner advancing to September’s group stage.
Dest has also been linked with a possible switch to represent the Dutch National Team due to his early success with Ajax. Although no official talks have been confirmed between the Netherlands Football Federation and Dest, it doesn’t mean it could be ruled out in the future should the 18-year-old continue to rise at Ajax.
“I don’t know if the moment will come, but when the time comes I will think about the Netherlands,” Dest said.