January signing Sebastien Haller is the most expensive player purchase in Ajax’s history, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at their Europa League squad.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that the towering frontman was mysteriously and mistakenly absent from the club’s registered players list for the next phase of the European competition.
It wasn’t quite clear whether the fault was Ajax, UEFA or the KNVB’s (Dutch FA), with the Eredivisie club trying to work out where exactly it all went wrong.
After all, it’s pretty much undisputed that Ajax would want Haller involved in their Round of 32 clash with Lille later this month as their all-time record buy, especially considering they allowed a very reliable front-man in Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to leave for Schalke during the transfer window.
But now it appears Ajax will be without Huntelaar and Haller for the rest of their Europa League campaign, with NOS reporting that Ajax are indeed the erroneous party. It would appear Ajax simply forgot to include Haller on the list.
Pretty incredible stuff that you’d probably expect to see on your Football Manager save rather than in real life. Ajax are looking into possibilities to correct the error, but NOS claim their chances of doing so are “very small”.
That’s not surprising considering they haven’t been disadvantaged or impeded in any way – it’s simply a result of the club’s poor administration.
It puts Ajax in a pretty precarious position for their clash with Lille. Youngster Lassina Traore may be back in action by then after an injury in December, but if he isn’t it looks like manager Erik ten Hag will need to employ a winger or a midfielder up front.
Far from ideal but sadly, this whole striker mess appears to be Ajax’s own doing.