By: Oma Akatugba, Monaco
Former Manchester United and Fulham goalkeeper and Ajax Amsterdam legend, Edwin Van Der Sar has said a repeat of last year’s amazing run by Ajax will be hard this season.
Van Der Sar told Omasport at the backstage of the 2019/2020 UCL draws and awards night, that it will be great to repeat the ‘surprise’ of last season but agreed it will be a tall order this time around.
”Last year’s feat will be great to repeat and even bettered but it will be hard because last year’s was a surprise.”
The former Fulham goalkeeper also said Ajax has found themselves in a dicey group with Chelsea and Valencia’s quality all glaring and revealed that he doesn’t know a lot about LOSC Lille.
”With Valencia and Chelsea, they’ve got so much qualities and are in bigger leagues. Chelsea won the Europa League last year. We also have Lille from France whom I don’t know a lot about but they finished second in the Ligue 1 to qualify for Europe.”
Van Der Sar, who won the UEFA Champions League with Ajax Amsterdam and Manchester United and also played in the final with Juventus said Ajax’s selling of a few key players is to open the vault for more young talents coming up.
”During my time, Kluivert left, Edgar Davids also left and we developed the players because we need space to get younger players into the team.”
Being a goalkeeping legend of repute and Ajax’s current Sporting Director, Van Der Sar was quizzed about how well he helps Cameroonian goalkeeper, Andre Onana with his trade. He said.
”He is a top guy whose demands from himself are very high, as high as possible. Even when he was 3rd choice goalkeeper, he was so eager to play in the first team. His strength, which is his reaction saves are fantastic. He is developing into a World Class goalie.”
On keeping Onana at the club amid interests from bigger teams, VDS said.
”We can keep Onana, because we were able to keep quite a number of players. We kept Ziyech, we kept Tagliafico.”