Ten Hag would have liked a new striker: “Top quality turned out to be impossible” | NOW
Erik ten Hag is generally satisfied with the way the transfer window has gone. The Ajax coach is particularly pleased that permanent staff André Onana and Nicolás Tagliafico have stayed but would have preferred to add an additional striker to his selection.
“The only thing that didn’t work is to get a ‘nine’. We bet on it, it just turned out to be impossible,” Ten Hag said in an interview with Ajax TV. “We were looking for the highest quality. A player who has already shown something at the highest level.”
Ajax would have tried to take over Luis Suarez from FC Barcelona last summer, but football affairs director Marc Overmars was quick to make it clear that the 33-year-old Uruguayan was unlikely to be returning to Amsterdam. He finally decided to go on an adventure at Atlético Madrid.
“I won’t give names but you have to look in this category,” Ten Hag said of Suarez and the search for a striker. “We couldn’t find better options than these. If you bring something in, it really has to be better.”
The forward position is still the subject of discussion at Ajax. In the first few games with Zakaria Labyad, Ten Hag chose an attacking midfielder to lead the avant-garde, but with attackers Dusan Tadic, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Lassina Traoré, he still has three players who can play in that position.
Luis Suárez has been linked with a return to Ajax but opted for Atlético Madrid. (Photo: ANP)
Ten Hag understands Overmars’ comment
Although Labyad has played all of the Eredivisie games so far this season, he has not made an indelible impression. The midfielder won’t play everything, according to Ten Hag. “We also look at what a match needs. We have different types. Tadic will bring something different than a Labyad or Traoré.”
In addition to the lack of a new striker, Ten Hag had to leave four players with Hakim Ziyech, Donny van de Beek, Joël Veltman and Sergiño Dest, who could count on an easy place last season. He doesn’t find it surprising that Overmars recently stated that Ajax should perhaps see this season as a year of hiatus.
“We’ve lost sixty percent of our selection. It’s impossible to replace it in a very short time and turn it back into a well-oiled machine. But I can’t think so. That would affect my players too. We should broadcast that. ” We want to win every game, “said Ten Hag.
After four rounds, Ajax are fifth in the Eredivisie with nine points. The Amsterdam team will play a home game against sc Heerenveen on Sunday (kick-off 2.30 p.m.), three days before the Champions League game against Liverpool.
View the program, results, and position in the Eredivisie