Ajax come from one of the most disappointing seasons in recent years, one of the rare seasons in which they have not won a single trophy. They finished the Eredivisie in 3rd position behind Feyenoord and PSV, therefore this year they will not play the Champions League, but the Europa League.
A year that started badly already at the end of July when they lost the Johan Cruijff Schaal defeated by PSV 5-3 and ended with another defeat against the Eindhoven team (on penalties) in the KNVB Beker final. In between, a disastrous European campaign, 3rd in the Group stage of the Champions League (4 defeats and 2 wins) and immediately eliminated by Union Berlin in the round of 32 of the Europa League.
They had started the season with Alfred Schreuder on the bench, but in January, due to disappointing results (12W, 7D, 7L), he was replaced by John Heitinga, who did only slightly better (14W, 3D, 5L). For this very reason in June they signed as new coach Maurice Steijn, who had done very well with Sparta Rotterdam. His 4-3-3 system of play seems to adapt well to the characteristics of the players.
During the summer transfer market Godenzonen lost two important players, Dusan Tadic, coming from a disappointing season also due to his advanced age, and defender Jurrien Timber who moved to Arsenal. As for signings, so far only few players arrived, midfielders Branco van den Boomen and Benjamin Tahirovic, probably two players unable to make the difference, and two young players, keeper Diant Ramaj and winger Carlos Borges.
Compared to last year, the team has not strengthened, the hope is that, since it is Ajax, some interesting youngsters can emerge. Barring important signings, Ajax don't seem to be able to compete for the title, at most for a place in the Champions League.