‘Technical manager Hamstra leaves Ajax; road looks clear for Ward’
Technical manager Gerry Hamstra is leaving Ajax, according to De Telegraaf. In doing so, he intends to take much of the responsibility for the appointment of – the now sacked – coach Alfred Schreuder and the failed transfer summer.
Hamstra is said to be in talks with the Amsterdam club to dissolve his contract, which runs until 2024.
Hamstra, along with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (and general manager Edwin van der Sar), took over the duties of Marc Overmars last year after the latter left due to transgressive behavior.
The technical duo experienced a turbulent transfer period last summer. A good number of important players left and several purchases that came in return are going through a difficult season.
Ajax are six points off leaders Feyenoord in the premier league after last Sunday’s defeat in the Klassieker, making the national title seem out of sight. Earlier this season, the Amsterdammers were ingloriously eliminated in the Champions League under Schreuder. A final elimination in Europe against Union Berlin followed under new coach John Heitinga.
Is Ward swapping Liverpool for Ajax?
Hamstra’s possible departure could be linked to the possible arrival of Julian Ward, who is said to be appointed as Overmars’ final successor in the very near future.
Ward is currently working as technical manager at Liverpool. According to De Telegraaf, he will work with Huntelaar, in whom Ajax is said to have confidence.
Ward, who is expected to start at Ajax on July 1, has a tough job ahead. If Heitinga is not allowed to stay on as Schreuder’s final successor, he must immediately look for a new head coach. In doing so, it is far from certain that strongmen such as Edson Álvarez, Jurriën Timber and Mohammed Kudus will remain in Amsterdam.
Turbulent transfer period
Last summer, Ajax lost several base players with Noussair Mazraoui, Nico Tagliafico, Lisandro Martínez, Ryan Gravenberch, Sébastien Haller and Antony. Steven Bergwijn, Owen Wijndal, Calvin Bassey and Brian Brobbey were recruited as replacements. None of those players has quite lived up to expectations this season.
Hamstra and Huntelaar also brought in Lucas Ocampos. Initially, the technical duo wanted to buy the Argentine from Sevilla, but the supervisory board put a stop to that. Ocampos was rented, but rarely played in Amsterdam. After a few months, his lease was dissolved and he headed back to Sevilla.