World Football

The AFC Ajax Rebuild

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The 2022-2023 season will once again, see AFC Ajax attempt to rebuild success and continue as the top team of the Eredivisie.

With one hand on a third consecutive Eredivisie, a win over Heerenveen tonight securing the Championship.

Recent weeks has seen the announcement that current Manager Erik Ten Hag will be leaving and his destination Manchester United.

Rumours have swirled that several coaching staff potentially joining Ten Hag ,and also some key named players have one foot out the door of the Johan Cruyff Arena.

New AFC Ajax Manager

As with all coaching jobs, all eyes will be on the appointment throw into the mix that AFC Ajax is one of the top available jobs in Europe and no doubt interest will follow .

Several names have already been linked to the role , lets take a look at three of the more interesting names linked to date.

Mitchell Van Der Gaag

Assistant manager Mitchell van der Gaag may prove to be the ideal solution should he opt not to follow Ten Hag to Manchester.

The former Motherwell player has had spells in charge of Portuguese clubs Maritimo and Belenenses, as well as Ermis (Cyprus), FC Eindhoven, Excelsior and NAC Breda (all Holland).

He became Ajax reserves coach in 2019, then was promoted to assistant manager under Ten Hag last summer.

Alfred Schreuder

The 49-year-old has a contract with Club Brugge until 2023 but has a release clause of €1.5 million.

Schreuder joined Ten Hag at Ajax as an assistant in 2018 but left a year later for Hoffenheim.

He was recently assistant to Ronald Koeman with Barcelona and became Club Brugge head coach in January.

The 50-year-old has thrived in the role, he knows the players, the system, and has previous managerial experience on his CV, although the job at Ajax would be by far the biggest of his career and one that brings heightened expectation, pressure, and scrutiny.

Patrick Kluivert

Outside bet here, Patrick Kluivert has thrown his hat into the ring to become Ajax’s next manager.

The former Netherlands international says he is ready to take the job on if asked.

Kluivert was speaking to Dutch ESPN, and expressed hopes to become a head coach, having worked largely as an assistant manager in various roles since 2010.

Kluivert was a fan favourite as a player at AFC Ajax scoring 39 goals in 70 games, and his legacy continued through his son Justin who also represented AFC Ajax 44 times scoring on 12 occasions.

Who Is Leaving?

Ryan Gravenberch

Ajax have reportedly set the price tag at €30 million, and Bayern Munich had offered €17 million which could rise to €23 million with add-ons, a fee Ajax did not accept, although the German giants are expected to raise their offer.

Noussair Mazraoui

It appears that Mazraoui will be joining Gravenberch in Munich, he had looked set to join Barcelona earlier this year, but has reportedly agreed to sign on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Jurrien Timber

Manchester United are said to be progressing in talks to sign Jurrien Timber from Ajax this summer according to reports.

United’s new boss Erik Ten Hag who is joining the club from Ajax is said to be a huge admirer of Timber and has already outlined the defender as one of his targets.


Manchester United have been given the green light to sign winger Antony, with Erik ten Hag keen to take the midfielder with him from Amsterdam to Old Trafford.

A fee in the region of £50m has been mentioned, and Ten Hag has repeatedly admitted his admiration for Antony.

Sebastien Haller

Borussia Dortmund are said to be eyeing a move for Sebastien Haller as they look to replace the outgoing Erling Haaland.

Haller has also been linked with Manchester United and also Bayern Munich depending on the future of their star striker Robert Lewandowski.

Who’s Coming In?

Brian Brobbey

Brobbey who was sold by Ajax to German outfit RB Leipzig in the summer, returned on loan this season and has had a important impact scoring 5 goals in 9 games including his recent strke against title rivals PSV.

Quinten Timber

Another possibility to return after his summer sale is Timber, the midfielder has had an impressive season at Utrecht and a valuation of 8-10m has been put on the youngster.

Luis Suarez

This deal would depend on the potential sale of Haller, a return for Suarez where he made his name before heading to Liverpool in 2011.

It would be an emotional return with Ajax reportedly interested in bringing him back to Holland.

Youth Squad

As is by now common knowledge the AFC Ajax youth academy is among the very best in world football.

ith some of the most recognised players having come through the ranks such as Dennis Bergkamp, Frankie de Jong, Wesley Sneijder and Matias De Ligt to name a few.

It would be no great surprise to see a handful of potential stars promoted from the youth set up.

How will AFC Ajax progress after the loss of their current coach? no coach or player is ever bigger than a club especially one with the history of Ajax.

We have seen Ajax rebuild in recent years and no doubt one of the giants of world football won’t be held back their latest situation.

(Top Photo Credit Johan Cruyff Institute)

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James Rees is host of ReesTalks Podcast and a Football, F1 and MMA writer, who strives to bring you the best content aswel as bringing you interviews with some of the sports top stars.