“He is fit and fully recovered,” coach Eric Ten Hag said Tuesday evening during a press conference at Jose Alvalade’s stadium.
Stellenberg was missing in the match against BIC Zwolle on Saturday. Just like Davy Klassen, who also won’t be up against Sporting. The midfielder from the Dutch national team returned with complaints in the thigh, much to the chagrin of coach Ten Hag.
“Last year, Blind missed us against Atalanta after an injury he suffered with the Dutch national team,” said the Ajax coach. „Blind and Stekelenburg have erred against AS Roma. I enjoyed Klassen at Orange, he was my best player in those three games with Memphis Depay. This is very good for Dutch football, but Klassen went to the European Championships at his best and did not play there. We had to get him fit again, but I think three matches with Orange in such a short time was too much for him. Cody Gakbo left the Orange team prematurely, but played against Arizona with PSV Eindhoven on Saturday.”
“We have to deal with it,” Ten Hag said. “That is why we have put together a wide selection. But with Klassen, the injured Mohamed Kodos and the sick Zakaria Labeid, I am now missing three players who can play as a “10”.
Looks a lot like Stephen Burgess who started in the Klassen position against Sporting. “We want to create a surplus in midfield and that can be done well with him,” said Ten Hag, who did not want to say whether Nicolas Tagliafico or Blind would start as left-back.
Blind Hag criticized the blind on Saturday in Zwolle, due to the many loss to the ball he suffered. “I’m not used to that from him,” he said. Tagliafico hasn’t played much for Ajax this season, in part due to two matches being suspended. “But if you see him train like that, he can play a full match,” said Ten Hag.
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