A few hours before the transfer market closed on Wednesday, Dmitry Bulykin (31) singed a one year contract with Ajax. The Russian, who was loaned out to ADO Den Haag last season, comes transfer free from RSC Anderlecht. He’ll be Kolbeinn Sigthórsson’s stand-in in Amsterdam.
Bulykin’s arrival immediately generates a new trivia question. What do Siem de Jong and Ajax’s newest acquisition have in common? Bulykin gives the answer: “My parents are both volleyball internationals. Just like Siem de Jong, I come from a real volleyball family. Especially my father, as a player with CSKA Moscow, has played for the national team often. But I’m still the most famous Bulykin in Russia”, says the 15- time international with a smile. “Football is very popular in Russia, just like it is in the Netherlands.”
Thanks to his 21 competition goals with ADO Den Haag, the Eredivisie seems like the ideal competition for the Russian forward. He didn’t score nearly that many with his previous clubs. “Whether the Eredivisie is the best competition for me remains to be seen at the end of the season. If I’m also successful with Ajax, then you can probably say that the Dutch competition suits me”, said the forward with jersey number 19, after signing his contract. “But it also depends on your team mates. It’s about the teamwork. If you can connect with each other, then great things can happen on the field. It’s then up to me to score the goals.”
A nice challenge awaits Bulykin with Ajax. “My trophy cabinet is full of runner up prizes. I won the cup twice with Lokomotiv Moscow in 1999 and 2000, but I’ve never won a national championship abroad. I wasn’t champion with Anderlecht or Bayern Leverkusen, either. So it would be fantastic to win the national championship next year with Ajax.”
Coach Frank de Boer is pleased with the Russian forward’s arrival. “During the last weeks, I’ve said a few times that we were first and foremost looking to bring a keeper on board, but that I also wanted to bring on another centre forward. I’ve happy that we’ve been able to fill in both of those positions.”
De Boer continues: “Bulykin has had a great season with ADO. When it appeared that we could get him transfer free from Anderlecht, everything fell into place quickly. He fits in with our philosophy, although he is definitely a different type of player than our number 9 Kolbeinn Sigthórsson. That was also important in our search for another centre forward. Bulykin knows what his role with Ajax will be. But since we’ll be playing in three competitions this season, we’ll be playing many matches. I know that Bulykin will be important for Ajax. We need him very much, just like all of the players in the selection.”