Erik ten Hag is generally satisfied with the course of the transfer period. The coach of Ajax is particularly happy that permanent employees André Onana and Nicolás Tagliafico have remained, but would have preferred to add an extra striker to his selection.
“The only thing that did not work is getting a 9. We had bet on that, but it turned out not to be feasible”, says Ten Hag in conversation with Ajax TV. “We were looking for top quality. A player who has already shown something at the highest level.”
Ajax would have tried to take over Luis Suárez from FC Barcelona last summer, but director of football affairs Marc Overmars quickly made it clear that the 33-year-old Uruguayan would probably not return to Amsterdam. He eventually opted for an adventure at Atlético Madrid.
“I’m not going to name names, but you have to search in that category,” said Ten Hag about Suárez and the search for a striker. “We have not been able to find better options than the ones here. If you bring in something, it really has to be better.”
The forward position is still the subject of discussion at Ajax. In the first games with Zakaria Labyad, Ten Hag chose an attacking midfielder in the tip of the vanguard, but with attackers Dusan Tadic, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Lassina Traoré, he still has three players who can play in this position.
Luis Suárez has been linked with a return to Ajax, but chose Atlético Madrid. (Photo: ANP)
Ten Hag understands Overmars’s comment
Although Labyad has played all Eredivisie games this season so far, he did not make an indelible impression. The midfielder will not play everything according to Ten Hag. “We also look at what a match needs. We have a number of different types. Tadic will bring something different than a Labyad or Traoré.”
In addition to the absence of a new striker, Ten Hag saw four players leave with Hakim Ziyech, Donny van de Beek, Joël Veltman and Sergiño Dest who could count on a basic place last season. He does not think it is surprising that Overmars recently stated that Ajax should perhaps see this season as a gap year.
“We’ve lost 60 percent of our squad. It’s impossible to replace the players in a very short time and get the squad to function like a well-oiled machine again. But I can’t think that way. That would also affect my players. must radiate that we want to win every match, “said Ten Hag.
After four rounds of play, Ajax is in fifth place in the Eredivisie with nine points. The team from Amsterdam will play a home game against sc Heerenveen on Sunday (kick-off at 2.30 p.m.), three days before the Champions League match with Liverpool.
View the program, the results and the position in the Eredivisie