It wouldn’t be exaggerated to call Ajax as the most successful team in Europe during the 2018/19 season. Considering their squad and all the accomplishments they’ve conquered; the argument can make a case on its own.
The Amsterdam giants are two wins away from clinching the Eredivisie title, and already won the KNVB Beker trophy after topping Willem II by an expressive 4-0 score. Plus, they reached the UEFA Champions League semifinals, and couldn’t reach the Final thanks to a stoppage-time strike from Tottenham’s Lucas Moura. Quite an impressive run if we consider Ajax had to go though the qualifying rounds just to get into the Group Stage.
With such an impressive season, the exodus of some of their best players was bound to occur. Frenkie de Jong already signed for Barcelona, but he’s not the only Ajax player that will change teams during the upcoming transfer window. Here are others that could depart Amsterdam in the coming months.
Matthijs de Ligt
You can pencil this one as a sure thing. De Ligt is defintiively leaving Ajax after the final two Eredivisie matches. The question is not when or why he’s leaving; it’s a matter of which team will end up signing him.
Barcelona have been considered as front-runners to land him, but they’re not along in this race. Juventus have also been looking at him, and Manchester City were also linked with the Dutch international. Even Ajax’ CEO, Edwin van der Sar, said de Ligt is “probably leaving to either England or Italy”. Where will the 19-year-old centre-back end up?
Donny van de Beek
Donny van de Beek was arguably one of the best players for Ajax during the knockout stages, and the 22-year-old playmaker made a name for himself with impressive outings against the likes of Juventus and Tottenham. A modern box-to-box midfielder with an eye for clinical passing, van de Beek feels far more comfortable in an attacking role. And he showed he’s ready to play in a more competitive environment.
AC Milan have been heavily linked with the €50 million-rated midfielder. Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid, however, have been scouting him as well. Even some Premier League sides have also posed their eyes on him. The Serie A giants already had the chance to sign him two years ago, but didn’t take. However, the player is reportedly keen on an Italy move. Could we see him playing on Italian soil sooner than later?
Which one of the attackers?
Ajax’s attacking trio of Hakim Ziyech, Dusan Tadic and David Neres didn’t get many transfer attention as some of the other players mentioned in his piece. However, one thing seems certain – this trio won’t be playing together in the 2019/20 campaign.
Manchester United and Manchester City have been looking at Ziyech over the past few months. The same thing has happened with Neres, who’s been rumoured to be the subject of a transfer battle between Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal. And Dusan Tadic has been linked with a move to Bayern Munich. The most likely to leave is Ziyech, although Tadic could very well depart and join Bayern due to the German side’s lack of wingers. Plus, Ajax still have Kasper Dolberg and they need to find some playing time for the 21-year-old Dane as well.
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