No matter what team you support or which players you idolise, you can’t help but applaud and marvel at what Ajax achieved last season.
The Dutch club’s run to the Champions League semi-final was both poetic and a tragedy as Ajax fell to a 96th minute Lucas Moura winner to send Tottenham to their first European final this century, but the Amsterdam-based side’s story this season has left a lasting impact on the footballing world, and for Arsenal, they seem inspired by what the European giants achieved.
The news of Freddie Ljungberg’s promotion to the Arsenal first-team coaching staff via the club’s official website has been a move that most fans have praised, though an interesting titbit of the statement was that the goal was to turn the club into a ‘transition team’, or in other words, following the Ajax way.
One of the many reasons why the Ajax story was so great was that many of their star names were players who had come through the academy, learning the art of playing football with precision and beauty and over time became members of the starting XI, with the likes of Matthijs de Ligt and Donny van de Beek two of the side’s best examples, and at Arsenal, you would assume they are aiming to emulate this philosophy.
A large reason as to why this model can work, especially at Arsenal, is because the club currently have an exciting crop of youngsters coming through that, to simply put, can become genuine members of the first-team over the next few seasons.
The likes of Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Krystian Bielik have shown over the past 12 months that they can make the leap into first-team football, and with Arsenal having only a reported £45 million to spend this summer on new players via football.london, Unai Emery could be convinced by Ljungberg and the new ‘transition team’ model to integrate these youngsters into the senior squad.
Arsenal have been a club that tends to promote from within, and this new model and appointment will only see more exciting youngsters have a shot at making an impact in the first-team and in doing so will not only save the club millions in the short-term but also potentially lead the Gunners to glory in the long-term.
Arsenal fans, which youngster can make the biggest impact next season? Let us know!
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