Are Ajax close to returning to their former glory?

To those watching from the outside in, Ajax racing into a two goal lead at away at Manchester City on Tuesday was a shock to the system with a potential upset on the cards. However, for those familiar with the history of the club, it was merely a Phoenix prepared to rise again from the ashes.

The Dutch side’s past is covered in glory and they have been responsible for the production of some of the game’s greatest players. Their Champions League win over AC Milan in 1995, the Italian side the in form team at the time, proved their worth and how nurturing youth team players correctly can lead to team accolades in the future.

The abundance of talent on show from Ajax that day in Vienna is beyond incomparable. The likes of Edwin van der Sar, Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf, the De Boer brothers and Marc Overmars is a testament to the training they all received as youngsters.

There have been those that believe the Eredivisie side are going to return to the days, reminiscent of that of the 1995 Champions League winning squad provided they can keep the current crop of players together.

Losing Jan Vertonghen over the summer was a big blow to head coach Frank de Boer, but he is able to call upon the likes of Toby Alderweireld, Christian Eriksen and Siem de Jong, the trio of which have all impressed this season.

Perhaps, most importantly, Ajax have had the pleasure of welcoming back possibly the most famous youth team product in their illustrious history. Johan Cruyff returned to the club in 2011 as a member of the supervisory board and it appears his ideas are already beginning to show.

The Dutchman is famous for his managerial capabilities and it’s no surprise to see Pep Guardiola, dubbed one of his disciples, shoot to prominence as one of the game’s best managers. While it is a long way to go to replicating the glory of 1995, Ajax are certainly going the right way about it and it would be of no surprise to see them continue this impressive upturn in fortunes in the future.