Dutch side Ajax hope the addition of young forward Bojan Krkić will help to steer the team back to Champions League dominance, says Dylan Fahy.
It did not take long for Bojan Krkić to make the cover of Dutch football magazine Voetbal International.
The Barcelona forward only signed a one-year loan deal with an option for a second season at Ajax at the beginning of July, but his picture splashed across the storied publication and his move to the team and country from which the Catalan club’s famed philosophy originates will build upon renewed optimism emanating from the Amsterdam-based outfit of late.
Bojan made the switch to the Netherlands on the back of a stagnating two-year stint in Italy with Roma and Milan, following which Barcelona exercised a buy-back clause in his contract. However, the La Masia product boasts an unparalleled level of experience at the highest level for a player turning merely 23 in a month. He cited conversations with Barça and Ajax legend Johan Cruyff as an influence in his decision, as well as the opportunity to playing regularly in a Champions League side.
Success in Europe is exactly what de Amsterdammers have their sights on after three successive domestic Eredivisie title triumphs since Frank de Boer took the managerial reins in 2010. The local tactician has reverted to the club’s roots by employing a slick and dominating style of play and drawing the base of his squad from their renowned academy while relying on seasoned professionals in key positions.
Ajax director of sport and former winger for both clubs Marc Overmars was essential in closing a transfer for Bojan – highlighting the success of Isaac Cuenca’s loan spell last season in negotiations – as Real Betis were reportedly closing in. “It is time that he shakes off the label ‘talent’,” Overmars explained on the team’s official site, “He is a team player and can score goals. That is what we expect from him.”
Expectation is what it is all about for the one-time European heavyweights in the upcoming campaign. With dominance at domestic level completed, Bojan will be hoping to guide Ajax back to the pinnacle of the Champions League and beyond.