Ruud Gullit finds it striking that unsuccessful defenders at Ajax are doing well abroad. Perr Schuurs is such an example. He has been playing for Torino since the summer and there are already rumors of a move to Internazionale.
‘It is striking that the players that Ajax didn’t think were good enough are all doing well,’ says Gullit in the Football cafea program of Ziggo Sports. In addition to Schuurs, Sven Botman and Mitchel Bakker are also such players. Botman was and is important at Lille OSC and Newcastle United respectively, while Bakker has made minutes at Paris Saint-Germain and Bayer Leverkusen. ‘Perr had big shoes to fill, because he supposedly had to replace Matthijs de Ligt (Schuurs was already brought to Ajax a year and a half before De Ligt’s departure, ed.). At Ajax it is expected that the play-in pass is good, but in Italy covering is number one. He does a great job’, says table guest Jan van Halst.
The pattern of expectations at Ajax is different from elsewhere
That is because Ajax uses a certain game type. ‘You also have to be able to play football very well.’ Players like Botman and Bakker excelled less in this. “Only one thing is important abroad and that is winning.”
Gullit agrees with Van Halst regarding the expectations of defenders at Ajax. “If they come up against an opponent where a good, smart striker plays, they have a hard time and you get into trouble. You are only selected on what you can do with the ball. Not on how you defend.’
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