Ajax have won over plenty of supporters this season, with their young, exciting side reaching the Champions League quarter-finals, defeating Real Madrid in the process. The Amsterdam club also top the Eredivisie, but are level on points with PSV Eindhoven, so expect the title race to go down to the wire.
With so much talent in the squad, Ajax are a fantastic team to opt for in FIFA 19’s Career Mode. If you keep hold of their key men, this side can go on to challenge the best teams in Europe. Just how far can you take de Godenzonen on the game?
Ajax have a four-and-a-half star rating on FIFA 19, which consists of a 78 attack, 80 midfield and 78 defence.
Ajax use a 4-2-3-1 narrow formation, and we have stuck with the system but have tweaked it slightly. We have moved the ‘LAM’ David Neves into a more conventional left midfield position so he can use his pace on the flank. You could also use the wide version of the formation, with other possibly systems being a 4-4-2, 4-3-3 or 4-4-1-1.
Andre Onana is in goal, with the back four made up by Joel Veltman, defensive wonderkid Matthijs de Ligt (87 strength), Daley Blind and Nicolas Tagliafico.
Lasse Schone partners all-round midfielder Frenkie de Jong (88 ball control) in the middle of the park, as catalyst Dusan Tadic (85 dribbling) lines up in the number 10 role.
Hakim Ziyech (90 curve) adds creativity in the RAM position, with David Neres out on the left and Kasper Dolberg in attack.
On the bench go for Bruno Varela, Lisandro Magallan, Noussair Mazraoui, Donny van de Beek, Zakaria Labyad, Hassane Bande and the experienced Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
Tactics and instructions
You have so much trickery in this side, and against some very poor sides in the Dutch Eredivisie, you will run riot. Frenkie de Jong (88 dribbling) is off to Barcelona at the end of the season in real life, but you don’t need to worry about that in FIFA 19. Drive forward from midfield with the Dutch international, and if you beat a defender or two, this will open space up for the devastating players higher up the pitch.
Namely, these are Hakim Ziyech (89 long passing) and Dusan Tadic (85 vision). If these two get time on the ball, they have the quality to play in the attackers. Picking out the runs of David Neres (91 agility) is just one way you can break down the defence.
In keeping the formation the same, you don’t need to play around with the instructions too much. Dusan Tadic should be allowed to drift wide and switch places with Hakim Ziyech from time to time, so change the Serbian’s positioning freedom to ‘free roam’.
David Neres’ position has been moved to left midfield so you can alter his support runs. Flip this onto ‘get in behind’ so he can make the most of his 87 acceleration.
Kasper Dolberg (87 shot power) gets his opportunity up front, and with the Dane able to score all kinds of goals his attacking runs should be on ‘mixed attack’.
Of course, it will be a whole different ball game from when you play your league games to stepping it up in the Champions League, and you may need to be a touch more defensive. In league games against PSV and Feyenoord, and Champions League group ties against Bayern Munich and Benfica, play a little smarter.
We suggest altering your full backs' attacking runs to ‘balanced attack’, as you could find yourself exposed on the counter-attack against quality opposition.
With no defensively strong holding midfielder, you may need to shackle Frenkie de Jong and change his attacking support to ‘stay back while attacking’.
Ajax have so many promising players, so it will be a tough call who to use regularly in training. Rotate between Kasper Dolberg, David Neres, Frenkie de Jong, Hakim Ziyech, Donny van de Beek, Matthijs de Ligt, Lisandro Magallan and Andre Onana.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £23 million
Starting wage budget: £39,000 a week
Who should go
It’s a well-balanced squad at Ajax, but with the current crop raising the bar of the standard at the club, you can sell off a few fringe players. Daley Sinkgraven is rated at 71 and can only 74, so you should sell him for around £1.5 million to free up £8,000 a week in your wage budget.
It’s a similar case for third-choice goalkeeper Konstantinos Lamprou, who is behind both Andre Onana and Bruno Varela in the pecking order. When Varela’s loan deal is over, you may as well promote the young Dominik Kotarski to second choice. Therefore sell Lamprou for £1 million to save £8,000 a week in wages.
Lastly, Vaclav Cerny can be shown the door with the 20-year-old your fifth-choice winger and only able to reach a 75 potential. He will collect you £600,000 and give you an extra £5,000 a week in your wage budget.
Dominik Katarski is the lowest-rated goalkeeper on the books, but with a potential of 79, he is worth keeping around. Just one season away on loan and he could be ready to become your back up stopper.
Who to sign
New transfer budget: £25 million
New wage budget: £60,000 a week
Solid defensive midfielder
The starting lineup is very attacking, and with the full backs also flying forward, you need a bit of steel in the middle of the park. A defensive midfielder who does exactly that, defends, is seriously needed at the Johan Cruyff Arena. You do have the option of playing Daley Blind in midfield, but that would leave you short in defence.
Valentin Rongier fits the bill at Ajax, with the 23-year-old another bright talent. The Nantes man can improve from a 79 overall to 84, with his best stats being 90 balance, 84 standing tackle and 81 short passing. He will set you back around £20 million with wages starting at £24,000 a week.
|Jean-Phillipe Gbamin||22||Mainz||Ivory Coast||79||84||£20m||£23k|
Three men have contracts running out at the end of the season for Ajax, with just two of them deserving renewal. Lasse Schone may be dropped to the bench if you bring in a defensive midfielder, but the 32-year-old still has another season in him at least, so extend his contract by a year.
Mitchell Baker is one of the young guard, and will be able to fight for a first team place next season. With a potential of 79, you should can give him a long-term contract of four years.
As for Konstantinos Lamprou, with a contract up at the end of the campaign, you cash in straightaway and sell him in the summer transfer window.
Ajax’s managerial objectives are like no other club with such a focus on developing young players. Domestic success still has a critical importance, and you will be expected to win the Eredivisie league title and win the Oranje Berker (Dutch Cup).
Youth development is also critical, and here you will need to sign four midfielders to your youth academy. Not only that, you will need to grow EIGHT youth academy players by at least 10 overall points within three seasons. Once they have grown, they must play in 20 matches over the course of that campaign.
For brand exposure you need to gain over £70 million from shirt sales over the season. Signing big names, racking up victories and scoring plenty will help you in this department.
Continental success requires you to reach the Champions League knockout stages which is no easy feat, considering the last time Ajax did so before this season was 2006.
Lastly, for your financial goal, you must increase club worth by 75% within three seasons. Maintaining a profit and winning silverware is the way to go here.
Restore former glories
Ajax were once on the top of world football, winning the old European Cup three times in a row between 1971-73. They didn’t stop here with a Champions League success in 1995, but since then, their young talent has gone elsewhere.
You have the opportunity in Career Mode to not wonder what if, but by keeping all these young stars together you can achieve something. Luis Suarez, Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen have all come through the club in recent years, and there is no reason why the current crop of players can’t reach the heights of those world class stars.
The win against Real Madrid was just the start, it’s not your chance to start a new Ajax legacy on FIFA 19’s Career Mode.
Full Ajax player ratings
|Bruno Varela||23||GK||Portugal||73||77||On Loan||£5k|
|Matthijs de Ligt||18||CB||Holland||84||92||£31m||£11k|
|Daley Blind||28||CB LB CDM||Holland||80||81||£12m||£20k|
|Joel Veltman||26||RB CB||Holland||76||77||£7m||£14k|
|Daley Sinkgraven||22||LB CM||Holland||71||74||£2m||£8k|
|Rasmus Nissen Kristensen||29||CB||Denmark||70||78||£2m||£6k|
|Hakim Ziyech||25||CAM RW||Morocco||84||86||£33m||£27k|
|Frenkie de Jong||21||CM CDM CB||Holland||83||90||£32m||£19k|
|Dusan Tadic||29||CAM LW ST RW||Serbia||82||82||£19m||£25k|
|Donny van de Beek||21||CAM CM||Holland||78||84||£13m||£13k|
|Lasse Schone||32||CM CDM||Denmark||77||77||£6m||£17k|
|Zakaria Labyad||25||CAM LW||Morocco||75||78||£8m||£14k|
|Carel Eiting||20||CM CDM||Holland||70||79||£2m||£6k|
|Dani de Wit||20||CM CAM||Holland||67||76||£1m||£4k|
|Jurgen Ekkelenkamp||18||CM CDM||Holland||65||78||£800k||£2k|
|David Neres||21||RW CAM LW||Brazil||80||86||£18m||£17k|
|Hassane Bande||19||LW ST||Burkina Faso||72||84||£5m||£6k|
|Vaclav Cerny||20||CM CDM||Czech Rep.||68||75||£1m||£4k|
|Noa Lang||19||LW RW||Holland||65||77||£800k||£2k|