Ajax’s recent success has come at a cost. They’ve already agreed to sell midfielder Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona next summer and several other players from the current squad could also make a big move and these are the five players who are likeliest to do so.
Donny van de Beek
Donny van de Beek is probably the most underrated of all the young Dutch internationals in the Ajax team at the moment but he’s someone who could become a superstar in the future.
The 22-year-old midfielder has been a crucial starter for Ajax since the start of the 2017/18 season and since then, he has scored 28 goals in only 89 games across all competitions. He predominantly plays as an attacking midfielder and because of the sheer number of goals and assists he provides from that position, he reminds many of another Ajax youth product, Christian Eriksen.
This season, van de Beek has scored 15 goals and assisted 11 more in all competitions. His contribution in Ajax’s Champions League run includes assists against Bayern Munich and Real Madrid and more importantly a goal against Juventus in the away leg.
Van de Beek was on the verge of a move to Milan two years ago and a future transfer to the Serie A club is rumoured but there is also interest in the player from Premier League clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur and Everton.
Ajax signed Nicolas Tagliafico from Independiente for only £4 million in January 2018 and 18 months later, they could make a huge profit on the player given the interest in him from the likes of Arsenal, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
The Argentine is an offensive minded full-back with significantly good passing, crossing and ability to read the game. Since joining Ajax, he has been involved in 14 goals in only 56 games and this season, he scored three goals in the Champions League.
The 26-year-old has turned down a contract extension at Ajax and the player and his agent have spoken of his interest to move to a different club in the summer with no shortage of admirers.
“I think in the summer it could be a natural time to take the step. Yes, it’s flattering [the links to English clubs] because I think it’s the most competitive league. When you are a child, the target is to come to Europe and play in a top league like the Premier League” – Tagliafico said in an interview with the Mirror.
David Neres is a product of the famous Sao Paulo academy through which players such as Kaka, Denilson, Lucas Moura, Oscar and Eder Militao came through. A few weeks before Neres turned 20, he moved to Ajax for €12 million after only playing 11 times for the Sao Paulo first team.
Neres initially played for the reserve team but broke through during the 2017/18 season scoring 14 goals and assisting 13 more in 32 league games. This season has been equally good for the recently capped Brazilian and in total, he has 29 goals and 32 assists for the club in 95 games.
The 22-year-old has been linked with a move to several Premier League clubs including Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton. It is said that an offer of around £43 million will be enough to convince Ajax to part ways with the in-demand winger.
Ajax signed Hakim Ziyech from FC Twente in 2016 for €11m and he has since gone on to score 39 goals and assist 57 goals for the team in only 125 outings! Now, the attacking midfielder is wanted by some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Ziyech was born in the Netherlands and represented the country at the youth level but after being overlooked for the senior team, he chose to represent Morocco, the country of his parents. What a loss that is for the Dutch team!
The 26-year-old’ has predominantly played as an attacking midfielder throughout his career but this season, he was played out wide on the right side and he has still managed to do well with 19 goals and 14 assists in only 39 games.
The Morrocan was previously linked to several Premier League clubs but it seems like Bayern Munich are actively pursuing the player. He may or may not join the Bavarian club but he is certain to leave Ajax in the summer.
Matthijs de Ligt
Despite all the fantastic attacking talent in demand at Ajax, the crown jewel of their current squad and the player who is likely to fetch the biggest transfer fee is Matthijs de Ligt.
The 19-year-old is the most recent winner of the prestigious Golden Boy award and he has already played 112 games for Ajax while also scoring 12 goals. He has quickly become one of the most coveted players in football at the moment mainly for his composure and leadership skills that defy his young age. In addition, his passing abilities, quick feet and aerial prowess are fantastic traits for a modern-day defender
The Dutch international was linked with a move to Liverpool where he could form a potent partnership with his compatriot Virgil van Dijk. He was also linked with Bayern Munich as a long-term replacement for the ageing Jerome Boateng. However, the club that’s presently leading the race to sign him is Barcelona.