After five games of the Eredivisie season, Nick van Ruiven takes a look at the start Ajax have made, and their transfer window losses.

  • By Nick van Ruiven
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eriksen + alderIn late July we brought you our Eredivisie preview of reigning champions Ajax. At the time they still had Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld at their disposal. Siem de Jong was another player linked with a move elsewhere but he has remained with the club but has been out injured for quite a while lately.

Ajax kicked their season off with a game against Roda JC, a game they went on to win 3-0. Goals were scored by Ricardo van Rhijn, Siem de Jong and Viktor Fischer. Next up was an away game to AZ Alkmaar. For most of the game Ajax seemed to be on course for a second victory in as many games but a silly foul by Ricardo van Rhijn saw Ajax reduced to ten men and after draw level from the resulting spot kick AZ went on to clinch all three points.

Next up for De Boer’s side were fierce rivals Feyenoord. In a poor Klassieker Ajax managed to come out on top but the overall performance still left some question marks behind.¬†After De Klassieker the fixture list had two consecutive away trips in store for Ajax, both in the northern part of Holland: Heerenveen and Groningen.

Heerenveen v Ajax would turn out to be the last time we got to see Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld in an Ajax shirt, the Dane did leave the Eredivisie with a well-taken goal. Toby Alderweireld was on the pitch as well, but could not prevent that Ajax gave away a 2-0 lead and ending up drawing 3-3.

Christian Eriksen then left Ajax for Spurs and Toby Alderweireld moved to Madrid to defend the colours of Atletico. As for incoming transfers, Ajax finally managed to agree a fee with Heracles Almelo for midfielder Lerin Duarte. The Rotterdam-born player is thought to be Eriksen’s successor.

Another player that came to Amsterdam during the summer is Barcelona loanee Bojan Krkic. The Spanish-Serbian forward has so far come in for plenty of stick, especially after wasting a glorious chance against Groningen last week. Will he become another Spanish flop for Ajax or will he come good eventually?
Only time will tell, obviously..

The departure of Toby Alderweireld had been anticipated by already securing the signing of former FC Utrecht man Mike van der Hoorn. However, the defender appears to be struggling to settle in Amsterdam. Youth academy graduate Stefano Denswil now plays in the place left behind by Alderweireld whilst Van der Hoorn is given more time to get used to life in Amsterdam.

There is still a long way to go of course and with Ajax being only 5 points behind current league leaders PEC Zwolle there is no need to panic just yet, but where Ajax were hoping to build on the solid foundations laid down in previous years it looks to be another tough battle for the Eredivisie title.

The draw for the Champions League could have been kinder in terms of sporting ambitions but for the lovers of proper football a group with FC Barcelona, AC Milan and Scottish champions Celtic is like manna from heaven. On paper, it looks like Ajax and Celtic will be battling it out for 3rd place but if De Boer’s man could cause an upset somehow, who knows what will happen.

Nick Van Ruiven (37 Posts)