Ten days into December and Ajax is approaching a week which can change the entire feeling about the first half of the season. Tonight we’re playing Valencia. It is the decisive match in an action-packed Champions League Group H. After that AZ Alkmaar awaits us on Sunday. In what seems to be a much bigger challenge than expected roughly two weeks ago.
Talent isn’t the problem. We have got an extremely talented group of players and they’ve proven that with the right mindset they can achieve anything together. But the injuries of Neres and Promes and the result against Willem II might cause problems in the upcoming two matches. Big problems. It leaves us vulnerable for big clubs looking to reinforce their squad immediately during the next transfer window.
If we lose tonight it’s clear a Champions League challenge isn’t on the horizon. And I doubt the likes of Onana, Tafliafico, and Neres will stay in Amsterdam for what’s nothing more than a consolation prize. Especially when big clubs will start knocking doors. It’s no secret that Paris Saint Germain doesn’t consider 32-year-old Keylor Navas to be the goalkeeper for ages to come and French-speaking Andre Onana would be a perfect fit. For the goalkeeper, it would mean a serious Champions League challenge that is still a possibility after losing with Ajax. It seems highly unlikely he would swap clubs in January if Ajax is to continue their Champions League adventure.
In general, the hype around Ajax has been nothing but optimistic after two straight Champions League wins against Lille and Valencia and a careless Eredivisie challenge. The results seem to overshadow the hairline cracks in the Ajax games. Nothing Erik ten Hag can’t repair, but the cracks might widen if the next two matches end in despair.
Anyway, this might add an extra itch to the game tonight. Let’s hope Ajax wins and we’re not up for a nailbiting January. Just eight hours to go!
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