As Rangers head to the Johan Cruyff Arena for a Champions League clash against Ajax, they will be facing a very different side from the one crowned Dutch champions last season.

The legendary club from the Netherlands has undergone something of a summer transformation but it has not stopped them from starting the latest campaign on rampant form.

Jonas Bjorklund of Rangers (right) is tackled by Ronald De Boer of Ajax
16 Oct 1996: Jonas Bjorklund of Rangers (right) is tackled by Ronald De Boer of Ajax during the champions league match between Ajax and Rangers at…

After losing out on the Dutch Super Cup to PSV Eindhoven, Ajax are now five for five domestically with some of their newest additions certainly beginning to settle.

The club also have a new manager too after Erik ten Hag joined Man United, with Dutch coach Alfred Schreuder taking his countryman’s place in charge of the side.

After spending time as Ronald Koeman’s assistant with Barcelona, Schrueder won the Belgian Pro League with Club Brugge last season and is now at the helm of the Dutch champions.

The playing squad has undergone a dramatic overhaul this season with that legendary Ajax model working its magic in a transformational summer.

Rangers to face new-look Ajax in Champions League

Ajax have raked in close to £200m in transfer fees this summer, with the likes of Anthony (£86m – Man United), Lisandro Martinez (£57m – Man United), Sebastian Haller (£27m – Dortmund), and Ryan Gravenberch (£21.5m – Bayern) topping the list.

On top of these big-money exits the Dutch club have also lost stalwarts like Argentine left-back Nicolas Tagliafico (Lyon) and Cameroonian goalkeeper Andre Onana (Inter) with as many as 15 players leaving the club [Transfermarkt].

But the Dutch giants haven’t slept after losing these players and broke their own club record transfer fee to bring £26.4m Spurs winger Steven Bergwijn to the club.

The Dutchman has since gone on to score seven goals in his first six games.

UEFA Europa Champions League MD-1"Training session Ajax Amsterdam"
Photo by ANP via Getty Images

Rangers also sold fan favourite Calvin Bassey to the Dutch outfit on a fee which could top £23m, whilst Brian Brobbey (£17m – RB Leipzig), Owen Wijndal (£8.5m – AZ), Ahmetcan Kaplan (£8m – Trabzonspor) also joining Ajax this summer.

This means that whilst Rangers go into the game on rocky domestic form, the club are playing a side who have never really played in European football together.

Rangers on the other hand have proven wily operators on the Continent and it adds to what promises to be an enthralling clash in the Dutch capital.

Besides, Rangers also have an Ajax secret agent who knows everything there is to know about the Dutch club.

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