It’s crystal ball stuff and it’s easy to make judgements with hindsight but with so many former Eredivisie players in the Premier League, we look at three players that Ajax missed out on, or may want to consider in the future.
Virgil van Dijk
His time at Celtic could have been spent at Ajax and he would have been a far better option than Niklas Moisander. Again, it’s easy to look back and make judgements but from a performance and financial perspective, Van Dijk would have been a great signing.
Suarez, Silva and Lindgren all came from FC Groningen, so it would be interesting to know if Van Dijk was ever a player that Ajax were looking at. Following his refusal to play for Southampton after a transfer to Liverpool was blocked, the Dutch defender now must work himself back into the Southampton team and prove himself again.
Virgil van Dijk bagged for Southampton U23s last night.. But it still looks like he’s in a serious huff! ? ? Premier League 2 https://t.co/OzCd1ceFH1
But based on his previous performances, he can become one of the best central defenders in the Premier League, which would automatically make him one of the best in the world.
Rajiv Van La Parra
The half-brother of Liverpool and former Feyenoord and PSV midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, Van La Parra embarked on a journeyman career after leaving Holland (Feyenoord) to play in France (Caen) and then the lower leagues in England (Wolverhampton Wanderers, Huddersfield & Brighton).
He impressed last year as Huddersfield shocked everyone by reaching the Premier League, under the guidance of David Wagner. Six games in he has been in and around the starting eleven; and made himself a nuisance – despite being booked for diving – in Huddersfield’s last game against Burnley.
Van La Parra doesn’t look out of place in the Premier League and could he be a leftfield option for Ajax going forward, having developed his conditioning and strength in England?
Whilst not a former Eredivisie player, Richarlison was heavily linked with Ajax in the summer. Many argued we didn’t need somebody in his position but Richarlison looks a wonderful prospect and has already scored two key goals for Watford. Many Brazilians take time to settle in England but he has hit the ground running.
Richarlison’s first of many in English Football.
— Cameron Maher (@CamMaher95) 17 september 2017
As well as being a quality player it would have been a statement of intent for Ajax to sign such a player, especially after the Europa League final. Ajax have gone backwards since this achievement and losing out on such a talent after protracted negotiations is a blow for their reputation.
He would have torn up the Eredivisie and his quick start suggests he could have made a difference against Nice, Rosenborg, Heracles or ADO. All games where Ajax fell short.
… And a former Ajacied makes a return
Mike Van der Hoorn
Since joining Swansea City from Ajax in 2016 Van Der Hoorn hasn’t started many games in the Premier League. But he has been in the first eleven for the last two, as Paul Clement (formerly assistant manager at Real Madrid & Bayern Munich) looks to play a more pragmatic style of football and tighten up at the back.
Against Tottenham, the Swans held firm to gain a 0-0 draw and Van der Hoorn played his part. He then kept his place for the game against Watford but was substituted early in the second half, with Watford ending the game with a 1-2 win.
Clement obviously sees something in him and it will be interesting to see how his career develops.