On Thursday, Brian Brobbey was named Eredivisie Player of the Month. The Ajax striker was chosen as this month’s best Eredivisie player, on the basis of Opta stats and fan votes. His teammate Benjamin Tahirović won the ‘Johan Cruyff Talent of the Month’ award for the first time.
The arrival of John van ‘t Schip as coach has signalled a change in the club’s fortunes in the Eredivisie. Ajax were bottom of the league at the end of October, having made their worst ever start to a season. However, November saw the start of a turnaround in form and Ajax finished the month in eighth place. In December, Ajax were victorious in the matches against N.E.C. Nijmegen (1-2), the remainder of the match against RKC Waalwijk (2-3) and at home to Sparta Rotterdam (2-1). A draw against PEC Zwolle (2-2) meant a total of ten points were added and Ajax will finish the calendar year in fifth place.
Brian Brobbey is one of the players who has lead the charge up the table. In December, the 21 year old striker was directly involved in five goals (four goals and one assist), surpassing the achievements of every other Eredivisie player. The Amsterdam born attacker registered forty touches of the ball in the opposition penalty area, seven more than any other player. He unleashed the most shots on goal (nine) and had the most Expected Goals in the Eredivisie (3.3 xG). Brobbey also won twenty duels and was awarded four free kicks in the attacking third of the pitch. His statistics and overall play have secured Brobbey three KPN Man of the Match awards during the past month.
First Eredivisie Player of the Month award for Brobbey
This is the first time the attacker has won the Eredivisie Player of the Month accolade. Brobbey received the Johan Cruyff Talent of the Month award three times in 2022 (May, August and October). In addition to the trophy, the 21 year old also receives an Eredivisie Player of the Month card in the game EA SPORTS FC™ 24. Brobbey faced competition for the Player of the Month award from players including Vangelis Pavlidis (AZ), Vasilis Barkas (FC Utrecht) and Elayis Tavsan (N.E.C. Nijmegen).
Benjamin Tahirović wins Johan Cruyff Talent of the Month award
Twenty year old Ajax midfielder Benjamin Tahirović has won his first individual prize in the Eredivisie. He was the best-performing player in December, aged 21 or younger at the start of the season. His performances were rewarded with the Johan Cruyff Talent of the Month award.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina international made eleven interceptions in December, more than any other player in the competition. In the match against PEC Zwolle, he provided his first assist since the first round of matches and the pre-assist for the first goal. The former Vasalunds IF and AS Roma player also achieved a pass accuracy of 90.9% (180/198 successful passes), the highest percentage of any Eredivisie midfielder or attacker (with 100+ passes).
Cheque prize for the Ajax Foundation and Cruyff Foundation
As part of the prize, the Ajax player receives a €2,500 cheque - on behalf of the VriendenLoterij (FriendsLottery) - for the Ajax Foundation. His selection also generated €5,000 to promote social projects organised by the Cruyff Foundation. Benjamin Tahirović saw off competition from his teammate Ar'Jany Martha and Lequincio Zeefuik (FC Volendam). Younes Taha (FC Twente) was also in the running for the talent award, but was unable to reach the minimum requirement of 60% playing minutes (116).
The Eredivisie Player of the Month, Johan Cruyff Talent of the Month and Eredivisie Team of the Month are selected on the basis of statistics (Opta) and votes from football fans (KPN Man of the Match). These criteria also play a role in establishing the shortlist for the Eredivisie Player of the Year and Johan Cruyff Talent of the Year awards. These awards, along with the Azerion Women Eredivisie awards, are presented during the Eredivisie Awards ceremony in September.
The selection of the Eredivisie Player of the Month is an initiative of Eredivisie CV, in partnership with ESPN and EA SPORTS FC™. The selection of the Johan Cruyff Talent of the Month is organised by Eredivisie CV, in partnership with ESPN, the Cruyff Foundation and the VriendenLoterij (FriendsLottery).