AFC Ajax has always been a club synonymous with the Dutch footballing philosophy of ‘Total Football’. As a club steeped in tradition and historical importance, the Dutch giants have once again re-emerged as a European force to be reckoned with. Their phenomenal display against Real Madrid earlier in the season has since propelled this promising generation of talent into the spotlight and the club currently boasts some of the most exciting young stars in European football.
Football Index traders have no doubt become accustomed to some of Ajax’s young stars and perhaps two of their most notable talents are Dutch compatriots Frenkie de Jong (£1.71) and Matthijas de Ligt (£2.06). De Jong’s move to Barcelona has already been confirmed for next season after Ajax agreed a £65million deal (with possible add-ons!) de Jong oozes class and elegance on the ball and he recently broke a record held by future-teammate Sergio Busquets (£0.63); having been involved in a massive 117 moves during Ajax’s 1-1 home draw to Juventus. It’s no wonder Barcelona were prepared to fork out the big bucks for de Jong! The Champions League tie between Ajax and Juventus remains very much in the balance, but considering Ajax were able to overcome Real Madrid 4-1 at the Bernabeu, they will have nothing to fear from this fixture.
If rumours are to be believed, it seems that de Ligt may well be joining his Dutch teammate at Camp Nou next season. Barcelona are supposedly very keen on bolstering their back line with a player who has been touted as having the potential to be one of the world’s best. With the rest of Europe’s elite, including Bayern and Juventus, also being linked, de Ligt will surely fetch a similarly massive transfer fee should a move come to fruition.
Over recent weeks another player who has really stepped up to the plate has been Ajax’s attacking winger David Neres (£1.83). Neres scored a classy strike against Juventus during the 1-1 Quarter Final draw and it seems that his performance during this game really perked Football Index traders into action. With a 7 day increase of 47p, Neres has been on a very promising upward curve recently. The Brazilian has impressed with his ability to both score and provide for teammates registering 12 goals and 15 assists in all competitions and it is little wonder that the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal have already been linked. With an apparent price tag of £35million, you can expect plenty more transfer rumours surrounding Neres to continue circulating over the coming months!
Next on the Ajax conveyer belt of footballing talent is one man who looks like he could be a real gem when it comes to racking up performance buzz points: Hakim Ziyech (£1.55). It can be tricky to judge the scoring potential of players who are yet to ply their trade in the top 5 European leagues, but in the glimpses we have seen Ziyech in the Champions League, he has regularly delivered some very promising scores. From just 8 matches of performance related data, Ziyech has managed to amount an average score of 119 and he even managed to take home the midfield buzz back in March with a very respectful score of 188 points during Ajax’s now-famous 4-1 victory over Madrid. Ziyech’s form this season has been nothing short of phenomenal. Ziyech has amassed a huge rating of 8.57 this season on Whoscored and he is nearing 20 goals and 20 assists in all competitions. It’s not as if this season can be considered a fluke either, as the Moroccan was also the highest rated player on Whoscored in the Eredivisie in 2017/2018 with an average score of 8.21. At the age of 25, surely Ziyech has now out-grown the Dutch league and it is now time for him to show what he can do on the bigger stage!
Ajax will no doubt be bracing themselves for an onslaught of transfer bids for many of their star players. With many of Europe’s elite circling and read to pounce, it seems that de Jong will not be the last name to leave this summer. Nonetheless, Ajax can rest assured that they already have several new stars ready and waiting to step up to the plate. With Donny van de Beek (£1.02) already becoming an integral part of the squad and Ryan Gravenberch (£1.16) waiting in the wings, it seems that the Ajax football factory still has plenty more left to offer.