In the wake of a disappointing third-place finish in the Eredivisie and a lacklustre European campaign, Ajax have undergone a remarkable transformation this summer.
It all began with a changing of the guard at the top, as CEO Edwin van der Sar bid farewell after an illustrious 11-year tenure at the Amsterdam club, alongside the departure of board member Gerry Hamstra.
The winds of change swept through the club, leading to the arrival of former Arsenal and Stuttgart transfer chief Sven Mislintat as the new director of football following the departure of Marc Overmars amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
Mislintat wasted no time in making his mark, replacing interim coach John Heitinga with Maurice Steijn from Sparta Rotterdam before embarking on an ambitious squad restructuring mission.
The roster overhaul started with the acquisition of midfielder Branco van den Boomen on a free transfer from Toulouse.
Midfielder Benjamin Tahirovic arrived from AS Roma, stepping into the shoes of Florian Grillitsch. Edson Alvarez’s departure to West Ham United was met with the arrival of Sivvert Mannsverk.
Ajax stalwart Davy Klaassen left his boyhood for new adventures in Italy as he joined Inter Milan.
The defensive ranks also saw reinforcements. Jakov Medic from St Pauli and the highly-regarded Josip Sutalo from Dinamo Zagreb came in as Calvin Bassey and Jurrien Timber left the club.
Ajax’s goalkeeping department faced challenges, with Geronimo Rulli sidelined by injury until January and Martin Stekelenburg opting for retirement. Diant Ramaj from Eintracht Frankfurt came in to fill the void.
In the attacking department, Ajax waved goodbye to star talents like Mohammed Kudus and Dusan Tadic. Flop Mohamed Daramy moved to Reims.
In their place, exciting prospects like Manchester City academy starlet Carlos Borges and Championship top scorer Chuba Akpom were recruited, alongside promising Georgian forward Georges Mikautadze.
Recognising the need for reinforcements in the full-back positions after struggles last season, Ajax secured the services of left-backs Gaston Avila and Borna Sosa, along with the promising right-back Anton Gaaei.
With this comprehensive makeover, Ajax entered the new season with renewed hope and vigour.
The club’s aspirations extend beyond mere improvement. They aim to excel in the Eredivisie, Dutch Cup and Europa League.
As the pieces of this rejuvenated squad fall into place, Ajax fans hope for a thrilling season as their team once again contends for the top honours.
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