Dutch top division club PEC Zwolle have extended the trial of New Zealand u17 midfielder Elijah Just.
The young Kiwi has impressed since arriving a month ago and will now stay for a longer period in a bid to earn a professional contract.
The club’s technical director Gerard Nijkamp said: ”He made such an impression on us in a month’s time that we wanted to see him at work a little longer.
Just has been training with All White Ryan Thomas at the club, with the two pictured in practice a number of times after Just’s arrival.
Nijkamp added: ”Elijah is above all good and reliable at the ball, which may make him a typical PEC player. The comparison with Ryan is premature, regardless of the country and academy it comes from.”
The talented 17-year-old midfielder has two goals in seven appearances for New Zealand u17s and previously played for the Ole Academy in New Zealand before being invited on trial at PEC. If they were to sign him it would cost more than Thomas, who had a British passport to ease the transfer.
Thomas, meanwhile, has been one of the best players in the Dutch top division this season. His performances for club and country have led to speculation he could be leaving the club in summer as he is reportedly widely coveted across the continent.
Just would be the third Kiwi to play in the country after Thomas and Marco Rojas, who plays for Heerenveen. Papua New Guinea international David Browne also plays in the Netherlands but has yet to make a first team appearance for Groningen.