June 23, 2010 - Tshwane/Pretoria, Guateng, South Africa - 23 JUN 2010: Jozy Altidore (USA). The United States National Team defeated the Algeria National Team 1-0 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Tshwane/Pretoria, South Africa in a 2010 FIFA World Cup Group C match.

by Warren Lent

His feet have too much potential to even think about giving up on him, but impatience can drive any club to make rash decisions. The curious case of Jozy Altidore continues, with the usual twists and turns one would expect from a transfer season.

Jozy Altidore became the most expensive US international ever after his $10 million transfer from the New York Red Bulls to Villareal in 2008. The La Liga club had high expectations for the 18 year old. Villareal gave Altidore decent playing time, but thinking about long term development, the club sent him on a loan to Xerez while they were in the Segunda Division. Playing time was expected to be in abundance for Jozy, but a freak toe injury kept him off the pitch for the entire 08-09 season.

The beginning of the 2009 brought another setback when Villareal brought in fellow forward Nilmar from Internacional of Brazil. Nilmar is thought to be in the prime of his career as a forward, and the need for a player still developing like Jozy was non-existent for Villareal.

The 09-10 seasons had Altidore on the loan train once again to England as Hull City acquired him. A single premiership goal in 28 appearances, and a head butt to end his disappointing stay, has Jozy Altidore's young career somewhat uncertain heading into the 2010 season.

Reports have surfaced that a sale transfer of Altidore from Villareal may be possible, instead of another loan spell. Ajax seems perfect for a player like Altidore, but whether or not they would be willing to buy his rights has yet to be determined.

Although many Ajax supporters are hesitant to admit it, the Dutch club is known for being a launching pad to help many budding stars burst onto the scene. Ajax is the club of Luis Suarez, the striker who played a pivotal role in Uruguay’s impossibly deep run in the 2010 World Cup. The striker gained worldwide praise (and a fair share of jeers toward the end of the cup) and a transfer to a prestigious club elsewhere in Europe seems imminent. The reputation for Ajax as a top developmental club can only bring more hope to fans of Altidore if he were to make the move to Amsterdam.

If Ajax is not the next stop for Altidore, where would he be best suited to perform at a high level?

The answer is extremely tricky, because everyone that has been around Jozy believes that it is just a matter of time before he explodes. But another nagging question: when will this explosion finally happen? Unfortunately, motivation in training was an issue while Altidore was in Hull City, and has nagged him throughout his brief career. Natural ability alone will give him a good career, but supporters across the globe hope Jozy has the desire to be great.

Greatness may come at Villareal, but at this point it seems very unlikely. For better or worse Jozy Altidore holds the future in his own hands.

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