Former Netherlands manager Bert van Marwijk says that the current Ajax side is a “blessing” for the national team.
Ajax underwent several changes over the summer, with multiple players leaving and multiple players being signed, and Alfred Schreuder taking charge as manager following the departure of Erik ten Hag.
Despite those changes though, the team is playing as well as ever, beating Rangers 4-0 in their opening Champions League match, and it features more Dutchmen now with Devyne Rensch and Steven Bergwijn replacing Noussair Mazraoui and Antony.
In the match against Rangers, seven Dutch players were in Schreuder’s starting XI, and Van Marwijk says that benefits the national team.
“Louis van Gaal can really be very happy that at this level – the highest club football stage in the world – there are seven Dutchmen on the field,” he told De Telegraaf.
“The fact that they are on the training field with each other every day is certainly an advantage, a blessing for the Oranje, especially with the short preparation time for the World Cup.”
Of those seven Dutchmen, four came from the Ajax academy that has produced top players for years on end, and Van Marwijk says the club and the national team owe Johan Cruyff a huge amount as a result.
“Ajax and – with a view to the World Cup – Louis van Gaal can still be grateful to Johan Cruyff. The youth academy has weathered all the storms in top football,” he added.