The Curious Case of Ajax

By | April 22, 2019

Ajax is a club located in Amsterdam, Netherlands, with a rich history of success both in the Netherlands and in Europe. The team has reinvented itself over the years and with each passing year it continues to to do the same, with established talent moving on and new, younger talent coming from their academy. Such is the case with many teams across Europe. With so much of the wealth and success in Europe focused in just a few clubs, Ajax finds itself an outlier more than twenty years removed from its last Champions league title in 1995.

Ajax is a team made up of primarily young players. Their captain, Matthijs de Ligt, is 19 years old. Their best player, Frenkie de Jong, is 21 years old. De Jong represents what is likely to happen to many others in the Ajax squad. He has already been sold to one of the big clubs of Europe. FC Barcelona paid 65 million pounds for the heart of the Ajax team this January, signing him before what could have been a longer transfer saga were it to have gone to the summer 2019 transfer window. De Ligt may follow Frenkie to Barcelona, and even if not he will likely make his exit from Ajax in the next few months. A similar fate awaits much of this team, and while Ajax anticipates the upcoming Champions League semi-final, the future of the team is likely steadfast in the mind of the fans and club officials.

The inevitable fate of this team is similar to that of the 2016-2017 AS Monaco team. This Monaco team reached the semi final of the Champions League and won Ligue 1 in the same year. This team had many great players, including Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva, and Benjamin Mendy. Most of the young players on the team left the following year, with all of these selling for at least 50 million pounds, and Mbappe for much more. Following this, they reinvested the money in new, younger players in order to restart the cycle, which is likely what Ajax will do.

Ajax, with a legendary youth academy, will survive this impending hemorrhaging of talent, but it could take years to completely reinvigorate the squad. Ajax fans surely appreciate the surprising greatness they are witnessing from this young team, and hopefully this club takes full advantage of all this talent and skill before it moves on.

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