Ajax are one of world football’s ultimate selling clubs.
The Dutch giants have raked in a massive £470 million in the last five years alone from selling their top talents.
Many of which, were homegrown stars developed in the famous Ajax youth system.
A new Ajax
Things weren’t always this way for Ajax, though. Back in the late 20th century, the Dutch giants were very much a destination club that would frequently challenge for and claim European honours.
Whilst they still boasted the same youth system that has churned out some of the world’s greatest ever players – you know, just Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, and the list only goes on – their home grown talents would usually always spend a significant amount of their career at Ajax.
And as a consequence, the club enjoyed incredible success when clashing with the famous Liverpool and AC Milan teams of old – four European Cups across a 24 year spell is a strong enough testament to that.
However, since the influx of commercial TV money and the ensuing boom in major European leagues that followed it, Ajax simply haven’t been able to compete financially.
The best players they develop are often sold on to major clubs in England, Spain or Italy before reaching their 21st birthday.
And ultimately, playing the role of ‘seller’ has become a necessary strategy in the modern era for them.
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Best XI of sold Ajax players
Now, while obviously not ideal given their vintage history, it’s a fact that’s accepted amongst the Ajax fan base – they’re never going to be able to match the wages of a Barcelona, although, maybe they aren’t the best example given their current financial predicament…
But what they have become frighteningly good at is picking out exceptionally good young players and moulding them into world class stars for the future, before – you got it – selling them on.
As a result, the ultimate Ajax XI of the players they’ve sold over the last 20 years is simply unbelievable and you can check it out below:
GK – Jasper Cillessen
RB – Toby Alderweireld
CB – Matthijs de Ligt
CB – Jan Vertonghen
LB – Daley Blind
CDM – Frenkie de Jong
CDM – Ryan Gravenberch
CAM – Wesley Sneijder
CAM – Christian Eriksen
ST – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
ST – Luis Suarez
Not a bad team, ey?
Manchester United fans will be hoping that their new left-back Tyrell Malacia can usurp their former favourite Blind in the years to come.
Meanwhile the remainder of the team is stacked with talent that has gone on to grace the Premier League, with the striker pairing of Liverpool legend Suarez and iconic maverick Ibrahimovic undoubtedly proving the crowning jewel.
Ballon d’Or quiz: Can you name the missing player?