Dutch football giants, Ajax have made €445million after selling seven players in five different transfer windows. Interestingly, the Dutch club spent just €40 million in acquiring the seven players.
Indeed, Ajax is an awesome team and they have been showing their prowess in scouting — they have an eye for hand-picking great players, grooming them to achieve their potential before selling them to big teams in record-breaking deals.
In this article, we will highlight some of the most profitable deals Ajax sealed in the past five years.
One of such player that Ajax discovered and brought to Europe is Antony. Antony, 22, was impressive at Ajax since arriving from Sao Paulo in February 2020 for around €20m.
He came through the youth ranks at Sao Paulo and made his senior debut for the Brazil national side in October 2021, in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela, having previously starred for the under-23 squad when they won a gold medal at the 2020 Olympics.
Antony built on an impressive 10 goals and 10 assists from 42 games in his first season at the club with another 12 goals and 10 assists in 33 games across all competitions in 2021-22. He won the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup in 2020-21 before following that up with another Eredivisie title last season.
Manchester United have agreed to a €95 million transfer fee, plus €5m in add-ons, to sign Ajax winger Antony. He will be the second-most expensive player in the club’s history behind Paul Pogba who was re-signed from Juventus for €105m in 2016.
This means that from the arrival and departure of Antony, Ajax’s profit is about €80m.
Frankie De Jong
De Jong began his professional career at Willem II in 2015. He transferred to Ajax for a fee worth €1 a year later. At Ajax, he established himself as one of the best young midfielders in Europe, after winning a domestic double and reaching the Champions League semi-finals.
De Jong won the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup; was Eredivisie player of the season, and was an instrumental part of Ajax’s first UEFA Champions League semi-final appearance in 22 years, in a breakthrough 2018–19 season.
During his breakthrough season, De Jong agreed to sign for Barcelona in January 2019, leading him to be signed for the club in July, for a fee worth €75 million.
De Jong was selected to the 2019 FIFA FIFPro World11 and was one of three Dutch players to feature in it for the first time in five years.
He happens to be another player that Ajax acquire very cheap yet sold for huge return. A whooping €74 million profit.
On 30 August 2016, Ziyech signed for Ajax on a five-year deal, with a reported transfer of €11m. On 14 February 2020, it was announced that Ajax and Chelsea had reached an agreement for the transfer of Ziyech for a fee of €40 million (potentially increasing to a maximum of €44 million, with variable factors).
He joined the Premier League club for the 2020–21 season. Chelsea later announced that they had agreed personal terms with Ziyech and that he had signed a five-year contract.
Ajax bought him for €11m and sold him for four times the price they acquired him for.
De Ligt has always been in Ajax. He was in the academy and was promoted to the first 11 and amazingly became the captain of the Ajax team. This is an amazing feat for a young player. On 18 July 2019, De Ligt signed for Serie A champions Juventus on a five-year contract for a fee of €75 million, to be paid in five annual installments, with additional costs of €10.5 million. He made his official debut for the club in a 4–3 home win over Napoli in Serie A on 31 August.
Ajax didn’t pay any transfer fee to acquire such a great defender, but they gained a gross profit of €85.5m.
Donny van De Beek
Like De Ligt, De Beek was also one of the stars in Ajax academy that rose through the ranks to join the first team. On 30 August 2020, Ajax reached an agreement with English Premier League club Manchester United for the transfer of Van de Beek.
The transfer was completed three days later with Van de Beek signing a five-year contract for a reported £35 million plus £5 million in add-ons.
Van de Beek chose to wear the number 34 jersey as a tribute to former Ajax teammate Abdelhak Nouri, who collapsed during a friendly in 2017 and went into an induced coma.
From van De Beek, Ajax gained about £40 million.
On 17 May 2019, Defensa y Justicia announced that a deal had been agreed with Eredivisie team Ajax. Ajax paid the Argentine side €7m for the transfer of Martínez. He penned a four-year contract, with the option of a further year. On 16 July 2022, it was announced that Manchester United had agreed on a deal with Ajax for the signing of Martínez for a reported transfer fee between £47 million to £49 million, plus £8.5 million in add-ons. The transfer was officially completed on 27 July, when Martínez signed a five-year contract with the club.
On 7 August, Martínez made his club debut in a 2–1 home loss against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League. Ajax had a net profit of about £50 million.
Davison Sanchez Mina
In June 2016, Sánchez signed a five-year contract with Dutch side Ajax, until 2021. The club paid a transfer fee of €5 million to Atlético Nacional.
Sánchez debuted with Ajax on 13 August in a 2–2 tie with Roda JC Kerkrade, he started and played the 90 minutes.
On 18 August 2017, Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur announced that they had agreed on a move for Sánchez signing a six-year contract for a transfer fee of up to £42 million.
He made his debut on 27 August as a substitute for Mousa Dembélé in the 92nd minute in a 1–1 draw with Burnley.
Ajax had a net profit of about £37 million.