Can Rangers follow legend's advice and emulate Ajax?

Can Rangers follow legend's advice and emulate Ajax?

The Champions League journey of Ajax has captured the hearts of football fans everywhere, and it’s not without good reason.
This vibrant, young, talented Ajax side are the physical embodiment of decades of footballing culture. A side who’s slick passing, hard-work and enthusiasm is as much a testament to their effort on the training ground as it is to those at Ajax cultivating the club’s identity.
Elements of this quintessentially Amsterdamian outfit mirror the all-dominating Cryuff side of the 70s and the stylish Davids, de Boer and Overmars inspired team of the 90s.

Johan Cruyff inspired the Ajax team of the 70s. (Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)

It’s this adherence to the youthful culture, style and identity of the club which makes the Dutch giants so fascinating. And has everyone falling in love with them once again.
This Ajax 3.0 has now dumped European heavyweights Real Madrid and Juventus, with Tottenham in their semi-final sights next.
But just how achievable, on a relative scale, is building a side like this from the Academy at Ibrox? One of the stars from that 90s Ajax side has urged the club to do so. It just so happens he played for Rangers too.

Rangers must look to “give kids time”

Ronald de Boer has suggested Rangers give their kids a chance [originally Evening Times]. And whilst many might think we’re not far off doing so, there’s no doubt he is right.
Rangers are potentially sitting on a golden generation of talent. Our youth system is producing some exceptionally talented young players.
The likes of Ross McCrorie and Glenn Middleton have already broken through. Whilst they’re being protected now, they’ll be bigger fixtures in the side very soon.
The likes of Stephen Kelly continue to impress. Then there’s goalkeeper Robby McCrorie, centre half Aidan Wilson, the highly-rated Jordan Houston and even striker Zak Rudden. We could even see wonderkid Billy Gilmour back at the club during his development.
That’s before mentioning Josh McPake, Nathan-Young Coombes, Dapo Mebude or Kai Kennedy, who are admittedly a little further from the first team side.
Many of these players were involved in the recent U17s ALKASS Cup win in Qatar.

Ronald de Boer has urged Rangers to look towards youth. Mandatory Credit: Laurence Griffiths/ALLSPORT

But whilst there’s undoubtedly talent here, Ajax have proven that getting these kids on side with a philosophy is also an essential part of their footballing education.
If Rangers can harness a kinship between these youngsters that represents that never-say-die, gung-ho, electric, match-dominating Rangers football, we can build a team in the club’s image.
And whilst Champions League semi-finals might be some way away for these kids at Ibrox, that’s something pretty special in of itself.
There’s also no reason why they can’t dream…

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