Turkey have recently been producing some world-class players in every position. Some recent and known examples of those players are Yusuf Demir and Arda Guler. Although much of their exciting talents have come in the form of defenders. From Caglar Soyuncu, Merih Demiral, and Ozan Kabak to the current emerging stars like Serdar Saatcı, Ravil Tagir and Ahmetcan Kaplan, this Turkey’s ”Golden Generation” has wonderful centre-backs. And with their performances, they are proving that they are something special.
Ahmetcan Kaplan, one of Turkey’s best young defenders has made the move from Trasbonzpor to Ajax for 10m euros. Ajax manager Alfred Schreuder had made Kaplan his priority after the departure of Lisandro Martinez to Manchester United.
Who is Ahmetcan Kaplan?
Ahmetcan is a 19-year-old centre-back who plays for Ajax. With a decent height of 6 feet 2 inches, the Turkish giant is superior in the air.
At the start of last season, Ahmetcan probably wasn’t in the squad plans for Trabzonspor. But after several high-profile mistakes from senior defenders of the squad and season-ending injuries to the rest of the players, Ahmetcan found himself in a situation that most of the players can only dream of.
Ahmetcan Kaplan 🇹🇷 is an extremely interesting young CB, who has proved himself as a starter for Trabzonspor.
• Mentally developed for his age.
• Physical presence.
• Tall & dominant in the air (189cm).
• Great passing & dribbling skills.
Now, he’s linked with Ajax. 🇳🇱 pic.twitter.com/Lku3Qjvg4g
— R.D. Football Scout (@RdScouting) August 4, 2022
When it comes to young players and luck on their side, it’s not always the case. But for young Ahmetcan it was the other way round. After grabbing the opportunity to represent Trabzonspor at the age of just 18, the young Turkish did not look back. The Turkish champions got themselves a rising young defender with huge potential and one they cashed on for good money after Ajax arrived with an offer.
Ahmetcan Kaplan potential
You usually don’t see this kind of cold bloodiness in a 19-year-old. And when you see it, you know it’s something special. Ahmetcan doesn’t have significant weaknesses, with only some minor skills that he needs to get sharp on.
Ajax, who were interested in the Turkish defender since the start of 2022, have a gem on their hand. Kaplan reads danger that not many defenders of his age can. Along with the ability to sniff dangers in the box, he can drive the ball with him outside of his own penalty box.
Ahmetcan Kaplan stats
Ahmetcan Kaplan made his debut for Trabzonspor in the 2021/22 season. The Turkish giant made a total of 13 appearances with 9 of them being starts. With such exceptional ball-playing ability and a keen eye for a killer pass he also got an assist in the bank.
Skills and style of play
Even with his large frame, Kaplan is not clumsy with or without the ball at his feet which is usually the case with most centre-backs of that height.
He is an extremely good passer of the ball with a 90 percent accuracy rate on all of his passes. Kaplan is also strong on the ground, with a strength that you won’t expect from a 19-year-old. And on the rare occasion, he can even dribble with the ball and surprise the opposing team.
First interview ➥ Ahmetcan Kaplan 🇹🇷#ForTheFuture
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) August 19, 2022
Ahmetcan Kaplan – Ajax transfer news
With more and more Turkish wonderkids leaving their clubs for European elites, it is really difficult for them to hold on to these players, and Kaplan was no exception. One thing that the Turkish league can offer these young guns is guaranteed game time. And because Ahmetcan already had a great start to his career, it was hard to imagine him falling out of the rotation.
Ajax had been keeping tabs on him, and after increased scouting for the Turkish defender recently, the Dutch champions finally got their man. If he keeps playing on the same level and doesn’t get injured too seriously, he might end up at an even bigger club sooner or later. He might not be the “modern-day centre-back”, but his old-school defending is just what some of the elites are looking for.