Edwin Van der Sar believes Colombian defender Davinson Sanchez and Dutch midfielder Davy Klaassen, who both moved from Ajax to the Premier League this summer, should have stayed in Holland for a few more years.
The legendary Manchester United and Ajax goalkeeper, who’s now CEO at the Dutch club, said of Sanchez that moving to Tottenham after one year in Amsterdam was “too early.”
“He should have stayed two or three years. But with the financial power of the bigger leagues, it becomes difficult for even a big club like Ajax to resist certain transfers.”
However, he backed Sanchez to do well at Spurs.
“He did well in South America, that’s why we picked him, and he had a fantastic year with us, reaching the Europa League final. He’s a good defender, he has pace, ability, hunger, desire. I think he should do fine for the club.”
Van der Sar has also been keeping an eye on his old club Manchester United, who beat Ajax in last year’s Europa League final and have made a strong start to the season.
“United should always be title challengers,” the Dutchman said. “The last couple of years, they haven’t been, but with the success of winning the Europa League and qualifying for the Champions League, the club have gained confidence.”
Marcus Rashford also came in for praise, with Van der Sar saying the teenager is an example of why clubs should concentrate more on their academies, like Ajax do.
“He’s technically good, tactically good, scores goals. That’s what you want as a club.”
The 46-year-old backed compatriot and former Ajax manager Frank de Boer to right the ship at Crystal Palace, who have lost their opening three matches under the Dutchman’s reign.
“He’s a fantastic coach. They should hold onto that and make sure they can turn things around.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has voiced confidence that Alexis Sanchez will put his aborted transfer to Manchester City behind him “very quickly”.
Arsenal reportedly agreed a fee for Sanchez with City on transfer deadline day, only for the deal to collapse after Wenger was unable to complete a move for Monaco winger Thomas Lemar.
Sanchez looked miserable during Arsenal’s 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool prior to the international break and then suffered successive defeats with Chile in World Cup qualifying.
But Wenger said: “I have no doubt about Alexis’s mind and mentality, that people question.
“He needs to come back to full fitness, which he was not (at) against Liverpool. It was his first game and he has suffered a negative experience with Chile.
“But he is strong mentally and hopefully he will be back very quickly to his best.”
Despite reports Arsenal had agreed to sell Sanchez to City, Wenger would not go into detail about what had happened on deadline day.
“The transfer market is over. There was a lot going on on that front,” the Frenchman told a press conference at Arsenal’s London Colney training base on Thursday.
“It’s very difficult for me to speak about that because the most important thing now is our next game.”
Asked if Sanchez’s departure had been contingent on Lemar’s arrival, Wenger replied: “That’s what I read everywhere, yes.
“My view is that it is too difficult to speak about that because Lemar is now in Monaco and of course Sanchez is here.
“I believe you have to keep a certain confidentiality about transfer negotiations. Many things happen at the last second.”
But the Arsenal manager dismissed suggestions the move for Lemar had failed to materialise because the France international did not want to come to the Emirates Stadium
“He decided to stay in Monaco and you have to respect that,” Wenger said.
“The player has a three-year contract to go, so overall you have to respect that.”
Arsenal host Bournemouth on Saturday and Wenger would not say whether midfielder Jack Wilshere, who spent last season on loan at the south-coast club, would be in his squad.
But he gave a positive update on the fitness of long-term injury victim Santi Cazorla.
The Spanish midfielder has not played since sustaining an ankle injury against Bulgarian side Ludogorets in the Champions League last October.
“Santi is having his first run today,” Wenger said.
“The flexibility of his ankle is good, his mobility is good and now it’s time to get him back to full fitness without any setbacks.
“It’s difficult to predict when he will be available again — not before Christmas. But I hope after Christmas he will be available.”
Provided by AFP Sport
Arsene Wenger has revealed Arsenal came close to signing Kylian Mbappe last year before being beaten to his signature by PSG.
The Gunners made an attempt to sign the 18-year-old in 2016 but he opted to stay with Monaco as they embarked on a first Ligue 1 title success since 2000.
Wenger attempted to bring him in this summer as well only for the France international to sign on loan at PSG ahead of a £166million permanent deal next year.
“Well, I believe that we were on the case last year,” Wenger said.
“He was close to joining us last year – closer than this year because of the competition for him.
“For 90 percent of the players, their career depends on where they choose to go. For 10 percent, they will be a success wherever they will go and he is one of them.
“He is an exceptional footballer.”