After training for one and a half weeks without the internationals, Ajax was once again complete on Thursday afternoon. The focus can now solely be on RKC Waalwijk, which – true to tradition – has been experiencing an outstanding start to the season, and after four games, is even with Ajax.
On this Thursday afternoon, Toby Alderweireld, Niklas Moisander, Miralem Sulejmani and Ricardo van Rhijn returned from their interland matches. Moisander played the most minutes of the foursome (151 in total), followed by Ricardo van Rhijn (135). Sulejmani had to settle for substituting in Serbia’s interland against Wales. Toby Alderweireld wasn’t accorded any playing time by Belgian national coach Wilmots. The foursome was tested by fitness coach Björn Rekelhoff, after which the Belgian and the Serb joined the group. The Fin and Dutch joined the group later on.
The safe return of the internationals was met with bad news concerning Kolbeinn Sigthórsson. The Icelander faces another severe blow: his shoulder needs more surgery. In the upcoming months, De Boer will need to cross out his first centre forward’s name from his list of available players, and will need to come up with another plan. He could, as he’s previously shown in this competition, move Siem de Jong forward and go with an all-Danish midfield with Lasse Schöne, Christian Eriksen en Christian Poulsen, which is what De Boer tested out during Thursday afternoon’s practice.
But Ajax has also recently brought back Ryan Babel. In the past week and a half, the forward has made an excellent impression on spectators during trainings, and this afternoon, and that’s exactly what he did again during Thursday’s practice where repeatedly set his fellow players on the wrong foot with his beautifully executed moves. Who knows, perhaps he’ll bring the entire ArenA to its feet once again with his fantastic moves.
After an hour and a quarter of intense training, the players retreated to the locker rooms. They didn’t all go directly, as the specialists took some time to practice a few free kicks. Further down the field, Kenneth Vermeer and Tobias Sana found each other. The Swede stood three quarters down the field from the keeper, and wanted to place the ball perfectly. Vermeer obliged his request. Perhaps the duo will surprise RKC on Saturday this way. One more practice awaits Ajax on Friday. The match is scheduled for 6.45p.m. on Saturday.