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By ESPN Staff

Van Basten backs €16.2m striker to come good

Ajax Amsterdam manager Marco van Basten has backed record signing Miralem Sulejmani to come good after making little impact during his first season in the Dutch capital.

The 20-year-old joined Ajax for a Dutch record fee of €16.2m from Heerenveen in July 2008 after scoring 16 goals in 34 games in the 2007/08 season.

However, the Serbia forward has failed to reproduce that form for Ajax but Van Basten believes the striker will succeed.

"He has a difficult year behind him now," Van Basten told Amsterdam TV station AT5. "I am still convinced that he is a fantastic football player. He shows that sometimes too, but there are also games in which he shows not much.

"He is just 20-years-old, comes from Heerenveen, has just come to live in Amsterdam and there is a price tag of 16 million euros around his neck.

"They are all things that have more influence on him than we ever thought."

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