Ajax are the most decorated football team in the history of Dutch football. They have won the Eredivisie 35 times, the KNVB cup 20 times and the UEFA Champions League four times. Their secret to having such tremendous success on the field is their talent factory, the AFC Ajax Youth Academy.
Ajax have arguably the greatest youth academy in the history of the sport
The club's youth academy has consistently given a number of generational talents to the world of football. From Johan Cruyff and Marco Van Basten to Matthijs De Ligt and Frenkie De Jong, the list of graduates goes on and on. The Amsterdam club have always placed their trust in the next crop of young players to perform on the biggest stage.
The current squad has attracted the biggest clubs in Europe's top five leagues, who are chasing the signatures of a number of their young players. On that note, let’s take a look at the five players who are most likely to leave the club this summer.
#5 Edson Alvarez
Mexico international Alvarez has attracted major interest from the Premier League club this season.
With the best defensive league record in the Eredesive all season, one of the most significant pillars of Ajax's stellar defense has to be Edson Alvarez. The defensive midfielder is having the best season of his career by leading the entire squad in total duels per game (11.5). The Mexican has a made a total of 27 appearances this season, scoring two goals and assisting one.
According to reports from Football Insider, 2021 UEFA Champions League winners Chelsea FC are looking to bring in the Mexican midfielder this summer. There is also interest from another London-based club, Crystal Palace, who are looking to secure his services.
#4 Nicolás Tagliafico
Nicolas Tagliafico's promising career has stagnated over the past six months. The Argentine has fallen out of favor at the Amsterdam club, and manager Erik ten Hag prefers Daley Blind in the left-back position. He has only made 18 appearances this season, playing a combined total of 706 minutes in all competitions.
The full-back had expressed his desire to leave in the January window, with FC Barcelona being his potential suitors, but the club blocked the deal.
His move to the Blaugrana failed because the club could not find an appropriate replacement before the end of the transfer window.
With 18 months left on his current contract and the player showing no signs of renewal, Tagliafico is destined to leave Amsterdam this summer. FC Barcelona remain the number one club to sign the Argentine fullback in a cut-price deal.
#3 Noussair Mazraoui
The 24-year-old Morocco international has openly admitted that his chances of staying at Ajax were extremely small in a post-match interview. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, several European clubs want to sign the right-back on a free transfer this summer.
Being an academy graduate, Mazraoui joined the Amsterdam club at the age of nine and has developed into an integral first-team player.
He has had a fruitful 2021-22 season so far. He has scored five goals and produced three assists in 25 appearances for the Amsterdam club. FC Barcelona, AC Milan, and Borussia Dortmund are looking to secure his signature at the end of the campaign.
#2 Ryan Gravenberch
Ryan Gravenberch became a part of the club's youth academy in 2010, where he received the first-ever "Abdelhak Nouri trofee." The award was given to the academy's best player in honor of the former Ajax midfielder's name.
Having been likened to French midfielder Paul Pogba on several occasions, the Dutch international is one of the most wanted midfield talents in Europe. He has appeared 30 times for the club this season, scoring one goal and assisting four in all competitions.
European heavyweights Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona are very interested in signing the 19-year-old midfielder at the end of the season.
The player's agent Mino Raiola and the club have come to the conclusion that Gravenberch will be sold this summer. The two parties could not agree on a new contract as the club were not willing to match his wage demands.
Certainly one of Ajax's best players this season, 21-year-old attacker Antony is on the transfer target list of the biggest clubs in world football. The Seleção international is known for having the famous Brazilian flair and skills.
He has netted 11 goals and provided nine assists in 26 appearances across all competitions.
Manager Erik ten Hag has revealed that it would be very difficult to keep the incredibly talented winger at the club beyond the summer. Both Manchester clubs and Liverpool are interested in signing the Brazilian at the end of the season.
Interest from the Red Devils has intensified following Mason Greenwood's indefinite suspension. It would be very interesting to see where the 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold medalist ends up this summer.