AjaxDaily sat down with UtdReport to take a closer look at the upcoming Europa League final from a Manchester United point of view. What do the Mancunians expect from Wednesday’s game, and what are their thoughts on this exciting and talented Ajax side?
What are your thoughts on Manchester United reaching the Europa League final?
Of course, after a disappointing Premier League season, I’m glad we have reached the final of the Europa League. It doesn’t quite match up to the glamour of the Champions League, something that as a club we should be striving to compete for, yet it’s still a great trophy to win. Trophy aside, the most important thing is obviously the Champions League spot that comes with the victory. This season will be a complete shambles if it doesn’t result in us playing CL football next year.
Can you share your opinion on the Ajax squad and their Europa League campaign thus far?
This Ajax squad is one of the most exciting I’ve seen in recent years. Ajax’s explosive attack and commitment to youth has been a massive success in Europe under Peter Bosz, which was evident in the first leg against Lyon in the semi-final. United will have to look out for Ajax’s pace on the break, and may even have a hard time getting past Davinson Sanchez at the back!
Any current Ajax players you’d like to see at Manchester United in the future?
There are a few Ajax players that spring to mind that I believe could make it at Old Trafford. The first is Kasper Dolberg, who I believe will be the next true big thing to come out of the Eredivisie. Plus, depending on his development over the next couple of seasons, I truly believe Abdelhak Nouri has the capabilities to be a world beater. The way he dribbles with the ball is mesmerising at times, and his eye for a cutting-edge final ball means he has what it takes to succeed at the very top.
Are Ajax considered a real threat or an easy route to the Champions League?
Ajax are by no means an easy route to the Champions League, and they will definitely have fire in their bellies after seeing Feyenoord lift the Eredivisie title. United fans as a whole seem to have this dangerous assumption that the club will be playing Champions League football next season, yet this Ajax side could easily turn us over. We’ll need our finishing to be better than what it has been over the course of the 16/17 season, as I feel as if we’re going to concede at least one.
What different impacts would a Europa League win and loss have on Manchester United?
A win is absolutely essential for the future of Manchester United. With Champions League football, the club avoids a financial hit, and gives us a greater chance of attracting the top talents to join the club. A loss would be devastating. Another year out of the Champions League for a club of our stature is unacceptable – I can’t stress enough how badly we need this victory!
What’s your prediction?
As I stated before, I don’t believe we will keep Ajax out due to the electric tempo that they play at. With Eric Bailly suspended, I can see us conceding a couple, and the red card he picked up against Celta Vigo could shape the path that the club takes over the next couple of seasons, if it means we lose this game. However, with Rashford on fine form, I believe he will be the youthful hero, rather than Dolberg. My prediction: Manchester United 3-2 Ajax.