Ajax has built a reputation on tremendous scouting and development and selling off its assets for huge profits, and its current batch of Champions League semifinalists fits the mold.

By 90Min
May 01, 2019

Ajax ensured its Champions League dream continued on Tuesday, earning a 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur to put one foot in what would be the storied club's first final since 1996.

De Godenzonen have continued to astound, outplaying some huge opponents despite being forced to operate on a tighter budget than most of their competition.

Here's how much Ajax for each member of the starting lineup against Spurs–and how much those could be worth in today's market (values via transfermarkt), with those numbers conceivably continuing to rise as Ajax keeps proving its worth on Europe's biggest stage.


GK - Andre Onana

Julian Finney/GettyImages

Cost: 150,000

From: Barcelona

When: July 2015

After finding his way from Cameroon to Barcelona thanks to his links with legendary forward Samuel Eto'o, Onana failed to make an appearance for the Blaugrana before his contract expired in 2015.

Having impressed against Ajax in the UEFA Youth League, the Eredivisie club moved to sign him on a pre-contract agreement in January, and he eventually joined Ajax the following summer for a small compensation fee.

Onana has previously been linked with a £30m move to the likes of Spurs, Barcelona or Arsenal, but after he signed a new contract in March, that value could rise even more.

Transfer value: £31.5m


RB - Joel Veltman

ISABELLA BONOTTO/GettyImages

Cost: Free

From: Ajax youth academy

The 27-year-old Veltman has been part of Ajax since 2001, and rose through the various ranks in the club's academy before making his first-team debut in August 2012.

This season, he fought back from a serious cruciate ligament injury to make his way back to the team, and he has not missed a step, helping his side overcome Real Madrid and Juventus and playing a key role vs. Spurs.

Tottenham has also been linked with Veltman in the past, but his worth to Ajax will be increasing every week as he proves his fitness. He's not even Ajax's first-choice right back, with the 21-year-old Noussair Mazraoui, who joined the club on a free transfer, an even more valuable asset to potentially sell.

Transfer value: £4.5m


CB - Matthijs de Ligt

OLAF KRAAK/GettyImages

Cost: Free

From: Ajax youth academy

Ajax's academy has a great reputation for producing some stunning young talent, the latest of which is the 19-year-old de Ligt.

The Dutchman and club captain joined the club as a 9-year-old and quickly went on to prove himself in the team's youth sides before making his senior debut in September 2016, and he has not looked back since.

Name any elite European side, and it probably wants him. Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester City are just three teams who could spark a bidding war this summer, as de Ligt's value soars through the roof.

Transfer value: £63m


CB - Daley Blind

Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Cost: €16m

From: Manchester United

When: July 2018

Ajax spending heavily on a player seems an almost alien concept, but it's safe to say that luring Blind back to the Netherlands was a masterstroke in 2018.

After years as little more than a useful squad player with Manchester United, Blind secured a €16m move to the Johan Cruijff ArenA, where he has formed a perfect partnership with de Ligt, offering his experience next to the youngster.

Now 29, Blind's value is unlikely to rise in the future, but he could still command a sizeable fee if Ajax opted to part ways with him soon.

Transfer value: £16.2m


LB - Nicolas Tagliafico

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/GettyImages

Cost: €4.5m

From: Independiente

When: January 2018

After years of impressing in his native Argentina, Tagliafico made the move to Europe when he joined Ajax in January 2018 for a modest fee.

The 26-year-old has enjoyed an excellent spell in the Eredivisie, earning himself a regular place in the Argentina starting lineup, including at last summer's World Cup.

Real Madrid and Arsenal are often touted as potential suitors for Tagliafico and, given how much fullbacks are worth these days, they would have to spend big to sign him.

Transfer value: £22.5m


CM - Lasse Schone

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/GettyImages

Cost: Free

From: NEC Nijmegen

When: July 2012

The Danish midfielder has spent his entire senior career playing in the Netherlands, and eventually made his way to Ajax in the summer of 2012 as his contract expired with NEC Nijmegen.

He instantly became a vital part of Ajax's side, offering plenty of goals and assists from deep, but also bringing his vast wealth of experience to a side that often features a handful of teenagers.

At 32, the chance for Schone to secure a big-money move abroad has likely passed, but he could be a smart bargain buy for any side if Ajax lets him go.

Transfer value: £2.7m


CM - Frenkie de Jong

David Ramos/GettyImages

Cost: €1

From: Willem II

When: August 2015

Yes, Ajax paid just €1 to lure Frenkie de Jong away from Willem II in 2015. However, the deal also included a 10% cut of any future transfer fee, meaning his former club stands to make at least €7.5m this summer.

The Dutchman enjoyed another typically excellent outing against Spurs, showing his composure and creativity to keep up Ajax's relentless attacking fluidity.

After agreeing to a €75m switch to Barcelona in the summer, don't expect to see De Jong moving anywhere else any time soon.

Transfer value: £67.5m


RM - Hakim Ziyech

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/GettyImages

Cost: €11m

From: Twente

When: August 2016

For Ajax to shell out €11m, it had to have been certain of what it was getting with Ziyech in 2016. Fortunately, time as proven the club absolutely right.

The Morocco international, who was born in the Netherlands, has been one of the Eredivisie's top performers in recent years, and he has now been given the chance to prove himself on Europe's biggest stage.

Ziyech is another of those who has been linked with a blockbuster move elsewhere. Midfielders who can both score and create goals are always expensive, so don't expect Ajax to give him up for pocket change.

Transfer value: £31.5m


AM - Donny van de Beek

EMMANUEL DUNAND/GettyImages

Cost: Free

From: Ajax youth academy

After joining Ajax's academy in 2008, van de Beek was another of those to play a starring role for the youth sides, before making the jump to the first team in November 2015.

Often going unnoticed among Ajax's exciting talents, van de Beek ensured he dominated the headlines after scoring the goal against Spurs on one of his trademark bursts forward.

The 22-year-old has been linked with both Spurs and Arsenal, as well as AC Milan, and he will certainly not come cheap.

Transfer value: £22.5m


LM - David Neres

Denis Doyle/GettyImages

Cost: €12m

From: Sao Paulo

When: January 2017

Once compared to Neymar, Ajax had to spend heavily to bring a young Neres to the club in 2017, parting with €12m to sign him in a deal that sporting director Marc Overmars, in an interview with Voetbal International, declared was "too expensive" at the time.

After a rocky start to life in the Netherlands, Neres eventually established himself as a vital part of Ajax's side, so much so that it turned down a €43m offer from Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande in January 2019.

The 22-year-old offers goals, assists and flair, and that will attract mammoth offers from any elite side, perhaps worth even more than Guangzhou's bid.

Transfer value: £28.8m


ST - Dusan Tadic

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/GettyImages

Cost: €11.4m

From: Southampton

When: June 2018

Ajax's decision to spend €11.4m on Tadic last summer was met with plenty of raised eyebrows. The Serbian, who turned 30 in November, had endured a few inconsistent seasons with Southampton, but clearly Ajax was not worried.

Since the move, Tadic has racked up 34 goals and 21 assists in all competitions, and it is his movement that allows Ajax to play in the manner that it does.

His age will limit his transfer value, but strikers who can contribute to over 50 goals per season are hard to find.

Transfer value: £18m


Total cost of starting XI: £47.3m ($61.8m)

Total current transfer value of starting XI: £308.7m ($403.4m)

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