Ten Hag: “Squad depth is essential for success.”

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Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has once again expressed his gratitude for the wide arrange of players he has at his disposal. Over the course of the season, he has repeatedly explained how he thinks Ajax has more than eleven starters within its ranks. He was arguably proven right last Wednesday when a damaged Ajax side still got away with three points.

The recent match against Lille OSC was won despite the suspensions of Daley Blind and Joël Veltman and the injury of David Neres. On top of that, Labyad, Ziyech and Mazraoui had to be substituted during the game because of injuries and a yellow card. “It shows that we have an extensive selection of players. Our young talents have potential and a role to play. They are very close to the starting line-up”, Ten Hag explained on Ajax TV.

The manager was reflecting on the fact that Ajax won a Champions League match with youngsters like Perr Schuurs, Sergiño Dest and Noa Lang on the pitch. “That is beautiful. Siem de Jong was also there when we needed him, however, so it’s both experienced and young players who are able to step in. We need that depth in the squad to be successful.”

The success he is undoubtedly aiming for, reaching the round of sixteen of the Champions League, is now well within reach. Ajax only needs to get one more point out of the last match against Valencia to qualify for the knock-out stages. “We need to play that game with the intent to win. If it happens, we could be content with a draw afterwards. We need to improve on a few things that went wrong against Lille, but there are also a few good things from this game that we should take with us when we play Valencia.”

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