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John Heitinga leaves Ajax, Edson Alvarez could be next

Amsterdam giants Ajax have announced the departure of interim head coach John Heitinga.

Following the exit of Alfred Schreuder earlier this year, Heitinga took charge of the team for the remainder of the 2022/23 season.

The former Ajax player stepped up and guided the team during a challenging period.

Under his six-month reign, Ajax found some stability but finished third in the Eredivisie. They also came up short in the KNVB Cup final.

The decision to seek a new head coach highlights Ajax’s ambition to secure a long-term strategist. They want an experienced manager who can build upon the club’s recent successes.

Director of football Sven Mislintat said (via Ajax’s official website): “I have told John this afternoon. On a personal level, this was a tough decision and it was not easy to tell him. 

“John got on board to help the club in a difficult time, and he did that full of dedication. We are very grateful for that. 

“It was a difficult period – Ajax was in fifth place and ended in third place. He learnt a lot in the last couple of months and we would like to play a role in his development and keep him connected to the club. 

“But I have concluded that Ajax needs a more experienced head coach. In the phase we are in right now, and to better Ajax’s performance, that is of great importance.”

There will be more changes at the club this summer. Chief executive officer Edwin van der Sar is leaving his post today.

Kelvin de Lang will join the club as the new head of scouting as Henk Veldmate leaves to return to FC Groningen.

Defensive midfielder Eddie Alvarez will also leave the club this summer to join Borussia Dortmund. 

BVB have been negotiating with Ajax for some time now. The Bundesliga club has already agreed personal terms with Alvarez.

The Mexican midfield anchor admitted that he had likely played his last game for the club in an interview with VI.

Alvarez will replace Jude Bellingham at Dortmund. The Englishman is on his way to 14-time Champions League winners Real Madrid

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