Who will be Ajax’s next head coach?

The position of Ajax head coach is up for grabs this summer. The team is struggling to find form under interim boss John van’t Schip, who will leave the Amsterdam outfit in the summer.

The team saw a slight improvement in form when van’t Schip was appointed as interim boss in October.

However, a weekend 6-0 defeat against arch-rivals Feyenoord continued a highly questionable run of results for the Amsterdam giants. The defeat was the heaviest Ajax have suffered against their rivals and their biggest loss in the Eredivisie since 1956.

The result, coupled with the suspension of new CEO Alex Kroes for alleged inside trading, has made this the week from hell for the Dutch giants.

The club undoubtedly needs some major inspiration from the dugout, but who are possible candidates to fill the role?

Erik ten Hag

The return of former boss Ten Hag in the summer would likely be a welcome one for everybody connected with the Amsterdam club.

Ten Hag has endured mixed fortunes as Manchester United boss after leaving Ajax for the Red Devils in the summer of 2022. Media reports suggest that Ten Hag’s future with the Manchester giants could be in doubt.

No doubt, if Ten Hag became available in the summer, then he would obviously be a no-brainer appointment.

He was a massive success in his last spell as Ajax’s head coach, winning the Eredivisie title on three occasions while also guiding the team to the semi-finals of the Champions League.

The rebuilding job looks to be a big one. However, some would argue that the club and team were not in a great state when Ten Hag began his first stint as head coach.

The stars could be lining up for Ten Hag to return to the Amsterdam giants and hopefully revive the team’s fortunes.

Pep Lijnders

The current Liverpool assistant head coach could be considered an ideal candidate for the job. The Dutchman has been part of Jurgen Klopp’s backroom staff since 2018 and has also worked at PSV and Porto during his long coaching career.

He has already announced that he will leave the Merseyside club this summer along with Klopp.

He is a highly-rated young coach who could well bring fresh ideas to the team and club. However, there is a caveat when talking about the 41-year-old as a potential Ajax boss.

Lijnders may be a highly-rated young coach, but he has very little experience as a number one, even if he has been learning his trade from such a talented boss as Jurgen Klopp. His only spell as a first-team boss was a woeful five-month spell in charge of NEC Nijmegen.

That may make him determined to prove himself as a head coach. However, with the team in such turmoil and the high managerial turnover in recent seasons, appointing a novice boss would be seen as a major gamble this summer.

Pascal Jansen

The 51-year-old is another potential candidate for the Ajax job in the summer.

He started his managerial career as the boss of Jong PSV before moving into his only senior management role at AZ in 2020. He stayed with the Alkmaar outfit until being sacked in January.

Jansen did a solid job at AZ, keeping them in and around the European spots, which is where most people would expect the club to be. He is regarded as a talented coach who would be up for the challenge of turning around the fortunes of the country’s most successful football club.

Mitchell van der Gaag

If Ajax can’t appoint Ten Hag, then they may well have to settle for the next best thing, his assistant manager. Having previously worked on Ajax backroom staff, Van der Gaag joined United with Ten Hag in the summer of 2022.

He had previously enjoyed a managerial career in his own right. His spells in management included working in Portugal, winning the Segunda Liga with Belenenses in 2013.

Van der Gaag has also managed Eindhoven, Excelsior and NAC at first-team level. It seems unlikely that the 52-year-old would be offered the job, but he may well be a candidate if the club are struggling to find a new boss this summer.

Graham Potter (Reportedly already turned down the job)

Former Brighton and Chelsea head coach Graham Potter has reportedly rejected the chance of managing the Dutch giants. Potter is believed to have held talks with club officials.

However, he is reportedly not keen on the job at the current stage. Ironically, reports suggest that Potter could replace Ten Hag at United.

With Ajax struggling so badly, maybe the 48-year-old didn’t fancy such a big challenge.

However, the United job could prove to be far more challenging, as the Red Devils are not exactly in great shape themselves, hence the speculation over the future of Ten Hag in Manchester.

Who will be the next Ajax head coach?