Erik ten Hag: ‘Youth players have to deserve their chances’

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Ajax-manager Erik ten Hag thinks that youth players have to earn their opportunity in the first team. He agrees that the level of the first team has gone up and therefore it can be harder for youth players to make the step from de Toekomst to the Johan Cruijff ArenA.

“I think we are doing a great job at Ajax. The level of our youth academy is top class. In the past two years, we sold great players like Justin Kluivert, Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt and we earned a lot of money by doing so. Besides that, we still have homegrown players like Blind, Mazraoui, Van de Beek, Siem de Jong, Sergino Dest, and Joel Veltman in our first squad. All of those players played in our youth academy for multiple years.“

“But I think we have to be realistic and sometimes it’s hard to have new stars available on such a short term. I do agree that youngsters need to get a chance in the first team but they have to deserve that chance themselves. They have to prove that they are better than the current players or at least have to potential to be better. Last year both Mazraoui and Dest took their chances and in the future new players will do the same.” thus spoke Ten Hag. 

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