Published On: Wed, Jul 31st, 2013

Derk Boerrigter completes Celtic move in time for crucial Elfsborg qualifier

Ajax forward Derk Boerrigter has completed his move to Celtic after a reported fee of £1.8 million – rising to over £2 million with add ons – was agreed between the two clubs.  Boerrigter, 26, underwent an extensive medical at Lennoxtown yesterday and has penned a four year deal with the club in time for tonight’s vital Champions League qualifier with Swedish champions Elfsbörg.

“He’s the type of player we’ve been looking for for a while…he’s a very fast, direct, left-footed player who has goals in him with his left and right foot” said manager Neil Lennon, who also revealed he expects to complete another signing by the end of the week.

Derk Boerrigter in action for Ajax

Derk Boerrigter in action for Ajax

Boerrigter has been pitched straight into the squad for tonight’s match at Parkhead with Elfsbörg and he could even start this evening, having undergone a full pre-season programme with Ajax, including hitting a hat-trick for the Amsterdammers in a 5-1 pre-season rout of his former club RKC Waalwijk.   Having left Ajax’s youth academy in pursuit of first team football, Boerrigter is cast in the mould of head-strong young Ajacieden who have a massive amount confidence in their own ability.   He continued onto PEC Zwolle where he had an impressive couple of years of exposure to first-team football.  A move to provincial side RKC Waalwijk followed and the disappointment of relegation in his first season was tempered by a memorable Eersted Divisie campaign where RKC asserted their dominance and secured an instant return to the top flight.  Boerrigter then left the club, rejoining Ajax where he quickly established himself as the left point of a fearsome Amsterdammer attacking trident, alongside Kolbein Sigthorsson and Miralem Sulejmani.

Having enjoyed a flying start to his second spell in Amsterdam – the winger then suffered a much-publicised back injury which ruined his first call-up to the Dutch national side, but seems to have recovered well from his ailments.   He’s been in and out of the Ajax team since then but has pitched in with some excellent assists and important goals, including the all-important, borderline title-winner at PSV Eindhoven last season.  Despite this, the left-winger remained on the fringes of coach Frank de Boer’s plans, partly due to his outspoken comments regarding the sale of experienced midfielder Theo Janssen, a man Boerrigter described as “the only one who knew how to pass the ball to me and use my speed”.  The signing of Bojan Krkic on loan from Barcelona pushed him towards the exit and, following the recent RKC match, the winger bristled when asked about the Barcelona loan star.

“I have not seen him [Krkic]. Maybe I have not quite been paying attention but I have not seen him much on the ball…but Bojan is a mercenary and the club will have paid much for him, so I assume that means he’ll play.”

Celtic have most definitely capitalised on the situation to complete their swoop and, whilst it could be argued that the player offers no real sell-on value due to his age, the club will still benefit from having a technically gifted “power forward” – as I would describe him – for a four year period.  The club will have the player tied down for his best years and Boerrigter has all the attributes to be a great signing, both for the fans – who demand a certain quality of player – and the board (who demand a certain level of value from signings).

With experience at the highest club level with Ajax, a couple of Eredivisie titles under his belt and a swaggering self-confidence not seen for a while in Scotland – I see no reason why Derk Boerrigter cannot have a massive impact over at Parkhead.

Words by Andy MacKay