Ajax disappoint again with a lot of new signings in Sittard
Ajax is playing catch-up early in the season. The club has drawn 0-0 in Sittard two weeks after they had already dropped points against Excelsior (2-2). The gap to PSV, who have started the season strongly, is already four points.
It will not come at a bad time for manager Maurice Steijn that the season is to be halted for two weeks due to the international break. He needs time to work on his new side. Ajax said goodbye to highly valued players like Dusan Tadic, Jurriën Timber, Mohammed Kudus, Edson Álvarez, and Davy Klaassen. The club spent around 115 million euros on twelve new players. Many of the new players have not even trained together yet. And that was noticeable in Sittard.
Ajax started the match without the injured Steven Bergwijn and suspended Steven Berghuis. Josip Sutalo debuted as the captain of the Amsterdam club, which also says something about the number of players with leadership qualities in the squad of the third-best team of the Eredivisie last season. New signings Gaston Avila and Georges Mikautadze were also given a starting place immediately. They also struggled to impress. Sivert Manssverk and Borna Sosa, signing number 11 and number 12 this season, were not yet in the squad.
Sutalo, the most expensive signing of the summer with over 20 million euro paid for him, made a convincing impression at the centre of the defence. He saw Devyne Rensch make a mistake early by fouling Tijjani Noslin, giving away a penalty; Noslin took it and hit it far over the goal. The Ajax players could not hide the fact that they hardly knew each other. Brian Brobbey scored just before halftime, but the goal was disallowed for offside.
Manager Steijn brought two more new signings on after 60 minutes. Chuba Akpom and Anton Gaaei replaced Brobbey and Rensch. Shortly after, the double goalkeeper Jay Gorter stopped Noslin giving the home side the lead. Fortuna was more dangerous than Ajax near the end of the match, which is not a good sign for the Amsterdammer's next few games against FC Twente, Olympique Marseille, and Feyenoord.
Reporting by ANP