Ajax gave themselves a wonderful chance to reach the Champions League final with a 1-0 semi-final victory at Tottenham Hotspur and the win earned Erik ten Hag’s side rich praise for both their style of play and the effectiveness of their teamwork.
But whatever comes the way of the Sons of Gods as the campaign enters its final stages, it seems highly unlikely that they will boast the same squad of players ahead of the new season.
For during their run of success, they have acquired many admirers, among them, of course are potential suitors. And one player who has caught the eye and looks poised for a summer switch away from the Amsterdam giants is young defender Matthijs de Ligt.
And Ajax legend Ronald De Boer believes either Liverpool or Manchester City would be conducive to enhance de Ligt’s career if, as expected, he makes a move at the end of the season.
De Boer, assistant coach of Ajax’s U19 side, said of the 19-year-old captain of Ajax: “He is the guy who is also next to Virgil Van Dijk with the national team, I mean he is so strong. So, determined to be a winner. Unbelievable. You see him in front of the cameras and his interviews, for me, a 19-year-old boy, I have never seen this before.
“He can play in every team. If he goes to an attacking team or a defending team he can play in every team because he is so good. He can easily come to the Premier League and play for every team in the world. Frenkie De Jong went for £65million and that can go up to £75million euros with Barcelona but in my opinion De Ligt is further in his qualities and readier to make that step than Frenkie De Jong.”
But De Boer insists only the player can decide on his fate, adding: “For De Ligt it is up to him. He has to look at a team for him and find out what he wants. Does he want a team that has fun and most of the time on the ball, that’s nice, or he goes to a team that gives it away.
“For me, Barcelona, Man City, Liverpool. Liverpool wants the ball, Paris Saint-Germain. Those are teams I would give him advice to go there. All the other teams, including Tottenham, are great teams to play for.”
Meanwhile, Donny van de Beek has called for calm in the Ajax ranks ahead of the second leg of the semi-final. The score of the goal against Tottenham in the first leg said: “The first 30 minutes we played really good. After that, Tottenham changed something tactical and we had problems. 1-0 is OK and next week we have to finish it. The beginning was good, but after that we played not what we can. We have to make a good plan for next week. We have to stay calm. We can do better.”