Ajax Coach Explains How He Got The Best Out Of Frenkie De Jong
Frenkie de Jong has captured everyone's hearts this season at the centre of midfield for an Ajax team that's delighted everyone. Ajax boss Erik ten Hag has revealed how to get the best out of him.
A year ago no one was really taking much notice of Ajax. They had lost the Europa League final to Manchester United in 2017 but hadn't even made it past the play-off stage the following season and once again failed to win the Eredivisie.
This past year has been completely different for them and with a young squad, playing exciting football, they reached the Champions League semi-final, beating Juventus and Real Madrid along the way.
The one problem for the Dutch side is their success this season has meant that teams have become interested in their players.
Midfielder Frenkie de Jong has already agreed to join Barcelona at the end of the season. The Dutchman has been one of the most impressive players this season for Erik ten Hag's side.
Ernesto Valverde will have an incredible player on his hands if he can get the best out of him and Ten Hag has clearly explained how to do so:
Erik ten Hag: "The quality of your players decide how you will play, and with what system. We had to find a way to make Frenkie function in the best possible way. You saw his incredible talent, but where do we have to use him to get the best out of him and his talent?" [1/2] pic.twitter.com/fLp5zeKY5s- AFC Ajax :dizzy: (@TheEuropeanLad) May 25, 2019
Erik ten Hag: "Eventually I decided to play with two 'number 6' players on the pitch. Once I did this you saw how much better he became on the pitch, and how much better he made the whole team play and especially the attackers." [2/2] pic.twitter.com/eH8tHXaYxS- AFC Ajax :dizzy: (@TheEuropeanLad) May 25, 2019
For Barcelona that likely means playing both De Jong and Sergio Busquets at the same time with another central midfielder alongside them.
Barca's team could change a lot this summer with Antoine Griezmann heavily linked with them and De Jong's current teammate, and countryman Matthijs de Ligt also rumoured to be joining him at the Camp Nou.
Will De Jong be a success for the Catalan giants or will he regret leaving Ajax?