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Veltman relishing Premier League challenge

Albion's new signing on his move and why he will wear squad number 34.

By Bruce Talbot • 29 July 2020

By James Boardman
Joel Veltman has joined Albion from Ajax.

Joel Veltman can’t wait to test himself in the Premier League after the Dutch international became Albion’s second summer signing.

Two days after Albion brought in Adam Lallana, he was joined by the 28-year-old right-back who has agreed a three-year contract.

Veltman has been with Ajax since the age of nine but after 19 years at the club, during which time he played in the Champions league and won several domestic honours, he is ready for an exciting new challenge.

He said, “I spoke with [Ajax chief executive and former Manchester United and Fulham goalkeeper] Edwin van der Sar about the Premier League and the tempo in all of the matches, it is similar to the Champions League. But that was four game in one season whereas the Premier League is all day every day. It will be different but I’m looking forward to it.

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“I can’t wait to get started. I have seen a lot of Brighton games on TV and the Amex stadium looked amazing, but it is not until you see it yourself that you realise how good it is.

“The training facilities are fantastic too. The Dutch League finished in April, so it’s been quite frustrating in the last few weeks not being able to train, but I’m delighted to be a Seagulls player and looking forward to the challenge of my new challenge and the Premier League.”

Veltman got the inside track on the club from Holland team-mate Davy Propper, whom he has played alongside in the national team.

“I spoke with Davy a couple of days ago when I knew the transfer was always done and he told me good things about the club and the city,” said Veltman.

“He said the dressing room atmosphere is very good which is important. It’s only a short break until pre-season starts for us and I am looking forward to meeting the guys and to training and playing with them.”

Joel will be wearing the no.34 shirt as a tribute to former Ajax team-mate Abdelhak Nouri, who collapsed on the pitch during a friendly in 2017 and went into an induced coma.

By James Boardman
Joel Veltman will wear the number 34 shirt as a tribute to former Ajax team-mate Abdelhak Nouri.

Veltman added, “Everyone knows what happened to Appie. He was a friend of everyone, we all love him and still do which is why when Ajax celebrates a goal they show the no.34. A lot of his old team-mates have this number and I know he would be very proud that I am going to the Premier League.”

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