Published on July 22nd, 2017 | by David Kraakman0
Why Ajax have big boots to fill in summer transfer market
Ajax have had a lucrative summer in terms of sales, but it has left some big boots to fill if the Eredivisie is to be conquered next season
It has been an unusual summer for Ajax Amsterdam with the tragic circumstances around Abdelhak Nouri but regardless of how cruel this might sound, the show must go on for the Eredivisie giants, who lost out on the league title race to Feyenoord last season.
Ajax have realized that as well, being quite busy in the transfer market. Goalkeeper, Benjamin van Leer, and former striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar have been the first two signings for Ajax and the pair have come over for a combined fee of €700.000.
The pair doesn’t completely fill the void which has been left behind by several players. Bertrand Traoré was the first to leave Amsterdam as his loan expired on June 30 and the footballer returned to Chelsea and made a subsequent move to Lyon. Not much later, club captain Davy Klaassen made his long expected departure. It was a very lucrative deal for Ajax as the club received €27M from Ronald Koeman’s Everton.
Kenny Tete was the next in line. He left Ajax after 12 years at the club for French giants Olympique Lyon for €4M. And the latest to leave the club – although not officially yet – is defender Jairo Riedewald who will join up with his former manager Frank De Boer at Crystal Palace. Riedewald’s transfer will see Ajax receive €9M, taking the club’s total summer revenue from player transfers up to €40M.
The Ajax bosses say they have now drawn a line and will not allow any more players to leave this summer.
Where do Ajax need reinforcements?
According to De Telegraaf, Ajax is about to sign Brazilian striker Richarlison from Fluminense. The 20-year-old is a player that could also operate on the wings but looks an unnecessary signing for a fee of €12M. In the striker position, De Amsterdammers have Kasper Dolberg and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar while Justin Kluivert, David Neres, Amin Younes and Vaclav Cerny occupy the wings. Ajax need to focus on other positions.
The defence, for example, has areas in need of reinforcement after the departure of Tete and Riedewald. At right-back, a fitting replacement could be the already present Joël Veltman but a backup would also be required as Ajax will fight on three fronts next season.
In the centre of defence, Ajax will stick to Matthijs De Light and Davinson Sanchez. As backup, however, Ajax need experience to guide the youngsters. Heiko Westermann is gone, so the club has to look at a veteran to bolster their defensive options.
Finally, with Davy Klaassen gone, another midfielder to add some depth to the current squad would also be good business. If Ajax can sign players at all the mentioned positions, the squad will have enough quality and depth to challenge once again.