The departure of Erik ten Hag from Ajax resulted in a lot of movement of players from the team. They lost some of their key players in the summer, and the Dutch champions had to sign a few players to fill the spots. One of the areas where Ajax have been affected by the transfer activities is their defence. Right-back Noussair Mazraoui was the first player to leave the club. He joined Bayern Munich in the summer alongside midfielder Ryan Gravenberch. Soon after, Lisandro Martinez also decided to join Manchester United and completed a move just a few days ago. The left-back, Nicolás Tagliafico, joined French giants Lyon and left the manager with a lot of headaches. However, Alfred Schreuder made some signings to replace these players, and here is how his defensive line could shape up next season in the league as well as in the UEFA Champions League.
Ajax have yet to sign a right-back but have signed two defenders to fill in the two vacant areas. Owen Winjdal became the first defensive signing from AZ Alkmaar. The 22-year-old Dutchman is a left-back and has 11 caps for his country. The Dutch champions also signed another 22-year-old defender to replace Lisandro Martinez. Calvin Bassey was signed from Rangers soon after Martinez’s move was confirmed to Old Trafford.
Bassey was their main defensive signing this summer. He is a versatile defender who can play as a left-back or as a centre-back. Ajax play with a four-man defence and have already signed a left-back. This means that Bassey is likely to play in the centre with Winjdal playing on the left. Bassey helped his former side to reach the UEFA Europa League final. His physicality and passing abilities make him one of the best young defenders in the world.
Bassey is likely to be accompanied by veteran Daley Blind or youngster Jurrien Timber. Ajax forward, Timber, was linked with a move away from the Dutch club, but it looks like he will remain at Ajax for another campaign. Blind has been associated with Ajax for a very long time. His passing and ball-carrying abilities make him an important part of the defence. The above viz shows the passing stats of the defender in the UEFA Champions League last season, and we can observe that Blind was ranked high amongst other defenders in the league. Blind can also play as a left-back.
Ajax have right-back issues and might sign a player in the coming days. Timber can play in the full-back position, but he is naturally suited to the centre-back position. The manager has used Devyne Rensch as a right-back in the pre-season, and he might take this new role in the team. Perr Schuurs is another defensive option for Ajax. This could be a difficult season for Ajax under the new manager. They will hope that the defence settles quickly and doesn’t leak goals.