The Eredivisie took all the spotlight at the turn of the new year after Frenkie de Jong made history to become the most expensive Dutch transfer ever following the confirmation of his move to Barcelona. Having said that, from Ajax’s perspective, the underlying problem remains that the gems made in Toekomst are almost always prised away by European giants with more spending power and ambition.
Despite being just a feeder club to the top dogs across Europe, one thing they excel in is filling their De Jong-shaped hole seamlessly. Whether it is grooming talents or finding a top-notch replacement from outside the club, Ajax are always a step ahead in terms of squad management. Be it Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Luis Suarez in the 2000s or Jan Vertonghen, Christian Erkisen in the 2010s, Ajax have always managed to prove that the club is bigger than any individual talent, irrespective of their importance to the team.
However, at a time where their biggest midfield talent is departing the club, what should Ajax do to replace him? Should they look at their academy players or look out for options outside? The funds are there to be spent if they do decide to bring in a potential world-class talent but the question remains - who can fill the shoes of Frenkie De Jong?
Let’s have a look at some of the realistic options that Ajax could consider to replace Frenkie De Jong: