Scout Report: Viktor Fischer - The deal of season for Middlesbrough?
We look at the strengths and weaknesses of the former Ajax man and why he can be a critical park of Middlesbrough's upcoming campaign.
While their transfer dealings might not make the headlines, Middlesbrough are busy chasing their targets to ensure that their return to the English top flight is not a short one. Manager Aitor Karanka has already acquired the services of Bernardo Espinosa and is in pursuit of a number of players. However, the former Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid defender has pulled a rabbit out of a hat by signing Denmark international Viktor Fischer.
Fischer was an integral part of the Ajax team ever since breaking into the senior squad in 2012 and the move to England with a club that will be hoping to secure survival will truly prove his mettle as a footballer.
Fischer started his professional career at FC Midtjylland before making a move to Ajax as a 16-year-old in 2011 for a fee believed to be in the region of €1.3 million. The youngster’s performances with Denmark at the U-17 World Cup had made him a target for clubs such as Manchester City, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Manchester United. However, the player decided to move to Ajax in a bid to find regular first team action and experience natural growth as a footballer.
The move paid rich dividends as Fischer enhanced his reputation as one of the most talented youngsters in Europe. Former Ajax Coach Frank De Boer even compared him to the legendary Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta and proclaimed that the young Fischer has all the qualities to become a major player in Europe.
While the transfer fee has not been made public, the transfer fee for the player is believed to be in the region of £3.8 Million, a partly sum in the current inflated market and could go down as one of the shrewdest signings of the season if he can live up to his billing. Fischer is confident, hard working and technically gifted and we believe that Boro fans will love their new recruit.
Fischer can be described as a silky operator with the ball at his feet as he is often seen manoeuvring around the opposition defence with his impressive close control, pace and skills. The Danish attacker has a great vision for a player his age and is very efficient with his passing. His creative virtues often come to the fore in games and he has shown an ability to split open the opposition defence with his passes as well as off the ball runs.
Fischer was largely used as a substitute in the last season making more than half of his 38 appearances from the bench. However, that did not restrict him from showing his attacking prowess as he netted 11 times and assisted his teammates on 4 occasions. Middlesbrough will be hoping that the Danish attacker, whose career has been on a steep upward curve since signing for Ajax, can repay their investment in him with goals and assists to ensure survival in one of the toughest leagues in Europe.
Fischer’s attacking instincts often overpower his all round play and that could prove to be detrimental for his side. The nature of the Premier League ensures that every single player on the pitch has to do his fair share of dirty work in the middle of the park and Fischer cannot shy away from his responsibilities, when called upon by his manager.
Another aspect of the game that he will need to work upon is his decision-making abilities in critical areas on the pitch. He has often been found guilty of taking a touch or two more than required and placing his team in a precarious situation. In a league where a goal can be the difference between survival and relegation, Fischer will need to step up his game.
While he is identified as wide man, at Ajax, Fischer was often allowed the freedom to float across the pitch and between the lines. While it remains to be seen if Karanka will give him the freedom to operate in the same manner, Fischer clearly has a critical role to play in the Middlesbrough attack.
The recently turned 22-year-old has shown an ability to learn quickly and has developed rapidly ever since making the move to Ajax and will need to continue on the work.