Erik ten Hag has successfully held on to a key Manchester United man after a European giant he was being courted by announced a different name has signed up.
Perhaps the most surprising story across all of European football right now is the dramatic decline at Ajax. The Dutch giant are accustomed to vying for the Eredivisie title with great rivals PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord. However, following yet another defeat at the weekend, Ajax remarkably sit dead last in the Dutch top flight.
Ajax’s record across all competitions this season now stands at two wins, four draws and seven defeats.
Former boss Maurice Steijn was relieved of his duties last week, with ex-Ajax midfielder, Hedwiges Maduro, taking temporary charge.
Ajax’s fortunes did not improve, with Maduro overseeing a bruising 5-2 defeat to PSV on Sunday.
Maduro was only in the dugout in a caretaker capacity, with Dutch icon Louis van Gaal helping to oversee the search for a longer-term successor to Steijn.
Among those considered in Amsterdam was one of Ten Hag’s two assistants at Man Utd – Mitchell van der Gaag. His other No 2 is Steve McClaren.
Ten Hag is known to share a strong bond with Van der Gaag and losing his assistant at a time while United are struggling would’ve been a bitter pill to swallow.
However, the United boss can breathe a huge sigh of relief after Ajax ultimately went in a different direction.
Ajax announce John van ‘t Schip appointment
Via their official website, Ajax confirmed John van ‘t Schip has taken the managerial mantle until the end of the 2023/24 season.
The 59-year-old has agreed a two-year deal, though the second half of the agreement will see the Dutchman serve in a ‘technical management’ role upstairs.
Van ‘t Schip knows Ajax well having starred for the club during his playing days between 1981-92.
He’s also worked in a variety of coaching roles at the club since hanging up his boots and was most recently the manager of the Greek national side between 2019-21.