Prior to the duel against Heracles Almelo, Erik ten Hag said that some changes will be made to the squad. This is partly due to the broad selection. “We have more than 11 starting players, and tomorrow Donny will play.”
In Liege, Donny van de Beek started on the bench, but in the Johan Cruijff ArenA, he will start. “Donny is a very valuable player and he will play tomorrow. He has nothing to worry about, and I’m glad he was disappointed after the game against Liege.”
'Internal competition is good'
The coach admitted that he was considering more than the players’ fitness. “We need to look at which players we need per game, both tactically and physically. We want to win, and we’ll do that with more than 11 squad players. Internal competition is good for the players.”
Ten Hag has studied the first opponent of the new season well. “Heracles has a new coach, a new philosophy and many new players. It’s a totally new team, especially in the axis.” Last season, the result in Almelo was 2-1 in Almelo and 1-0 in Amsterdam, so Ajax has been warned. “We’ve prepared well.”
Central duo De Ligt & Blind
Matthijs de Ligt and Daley Blind are Ten Hag’s central defenders. “It’s clear that these two will act as central defenders for many games, but we have other possibilities too, with Max Wober and Frenkie de Jong.”
Naturally, the transfer market was discussed at the press conference. As of Thursday, it was closed in England. “It’s good that the window has closed prior to the start of competition. If you’re looking at fair play, it’s the fairest. It would be great if all of the top countries did this.”