Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, Clarence Seedorf, and Dennis Bergkamp, are just a few of the world football greats who took their first steps toward greatness at the famed academy set up at AFC Ajax. The Dutch giants have been responsible for finding some of the best footballers of all time in the past and, with their help, they have won the Eredivisie league title a record 36 times.
Throw in 20 KNVB Cups and 4 European Cups, and Ajax can be considered to be one of the top football clubs in world football. All of this success is a far cry from the Ajax of the 2023/24 season, however, as the club is currently enduring the worst period in their rich history.
A Season To Forget
As it stands, Ajax have collected just 18 points from their first 13 games in this campaign, leaving them just 4 points clear of the relegation zone and a huge 24 points behind runaway leaders, PSV Eindhoven. Anyone looking to bet online on Dutch football will be ignoring the Amsterdam club this season and fans will be hoping that their club will get the opportunity to bounce back next year as an Eredivisie team.
Has The Famous Ajax Academy Run Dry?
Throughout their history, Ajax have consistently relied on young talented players coming through their ranks to make it to the first team. Every year the club brought through another collection of extremely talented youngsters, the majority of whom would make it to the highest level of European football.
The most recent group of young Ajax stars to make the breakthrough and move on to pastures new have brought in a large amount of transfer revenue, but it is the loss of the experienced pair of Davy Klaasen and Dusan Tadic that has had the most profound effect on the club this season.
This added to the fact that this year’s academy players have proven not to be of the level of their predecessors and the confusing tactics used by the now-sacked, Maurice Steijn, and it is easy to see why the great club is struggling.
The Famous Team Of 1995
For many years it was the great teams of the 70s and 80s that were the most famous in Ajax’s great history, but in 1995, one of the best young teams assembled at the club would dominate the landscape of European football.
The squad, which included such legends as the De Boer twins, Patrick Kluivert, Edgar Davids, Frank Rijkaard, Jari Litmanen, and Marc Overmars, to name just a few, won three consecutive league titles, as well as winning the club’s fourth European title.
Unfortunately, despite major success on the domestic scene, Ajax would never reach the same heights in Europe and as things stand, it could be quite some time before the great club can compete at the same level for years to come.
One thing that Ajax fans can be hopeful of is that the youngsters now plying their trade in the academy might have more quality than the current crop. As the brilliant team of the mid-nineties showed, special things can happen at the Dutch giants when things fall into place.