In an interview with BILD, Ajax boss Erik ten Hag has praised the club’s emerging talents and stood up for Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt.

Ajax have lost talents such as Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, and Donny van de Beek in recent years, but Ten Hag can see the next generation is coming through. He said to BILD, “With Jurriën Timber, Devyne Rensch, and Ryan Gravenberch, the next generation of top talent has joined the main force. At Ajax, we have one of the best youth training programs in the world.”

However, Ten Hag knows that experience is also key and that is what he noticed when he took over at the club, “You can’t celebrate success with only young players. In my first half year here I noticed that the team was too young, so we strengthened the selection with experienced players such as Dusan Tadic, Daley Blind, and Davy Klaassen.”

BILD have stated their opinion that De Jong, Van de Beek, and De Ligt have struggled since leaving Ajax, but Ten Hag does not agree with this, “I disagree with this statement. The step to an absolute top club is never easy, especially not for young players. At your own club you know the structure, the philosophy and you can fully concentrate on your performance. When you change clubs, you’re faced with a completely new environment. Despite this, De Jong and De Ligt are starting players and have already won titles at Barça and Juve.”

Ten Hag has no plans to depart Amsterdam anytime soon, “There’s no reason for me to think about that now. I am very happy at Ajax and I give everything for the club, every day. I know you can’t plan anything in football, but you have to make an exceptional and extraordinary offer if I want to change my plans.”




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