Brighton & Hove Albion have signed Ajax defender Joel Veltman to a three-year deal. The Seagulls, preparing for a fourth straight season in the Premier League, make the 28-year old their second signing of the summer transfer window following the arrival of Adam Lallana on a free transfer from champions Liverpool.
'I'm delighted to be a Seagulls player'
Veltman has spent his entire professional career with Ajax, winning three Eredivisie titles and a domestic KNVB Cup in his time with the Dutch power.
"I spoke with 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 games in one season whereas the Premier League is all day every day. It will be different but I'm looking forward to it.
"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 realize how good it is. The training facilities are fantastic too.
"The Dutch League finished in April, so it's been quite frustrating not 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 to the new challenge in the Premier League."
'I am looking forward to meeting the guys'
Having made 22 appearances for the Dutch national team, Veltman spoke to teammate Davy Propper about his new club.
"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. 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."
'We're delighted to welcome him to the club'
Manager Graham Potter is thrilled to bring the Dutch international to Brighton, saying, "We're delighted to welcome Joel to the club. He has terrific experience from his time with Ajax including the Champions League and, of course, the Dutch national team.
"He's an excellent defender who can play right-back or center half, but he's also comfortable in possession. He is really looking forward to playing in the Premier League and we're delighted he is now a Brighton player and we're looking forward to working with him."
'He was a friend of everyone'
The Dutchman spoke of his decision to wear number 34 for the Seagulls as a tribute to former Ajax teammate Abdelhak Nouri, who collapsed on the pitch during a friendly in 2017 and went into an induced coma.
"Everyone knows what happened to Appie", he said. "He was a friend of everyone, we all love him and still do which is why when Ajax celebrates a goal they show the number 34. A lot of his old teammates have this number and I know he would be very proud that I am going to the Premier League."