Ronald de Boer believes the Europa League quarter-final was ‘a difficult draw for both’ Roma and Ajax, while Justin Kluivert ‘wasn’t ready’ for Serie A.
The Giallorossi are the only remaining Italian representatives in Europe and will be up against an Ajax side who dropped down from the Champions League.
“I think it’s a difficult draw for both teams, as they are very interesting sides,” former Ajax star and current youth team coach De Boer told Teleradiostereo.
“There were other very strong clubs in the draw, such as Arsenal and Manchester United. I think qualification is wide open in this one, as Ajax have grown a great deal in recent years, while Roma – albeit not being at the top in Italy – are a very strong side.
“The fact Ajax have practically secured their domestic title already is probably a small advantage when it comes to preparing for the quarter-final.
“On the other hand, the fact the Eredivisie isn’t a top tournament also damages Ajax in terms of practice. Another weakness is the lack of alternatives in attack, as there’s only really Dusan Tadic, and he’s not even a centre-forward.”
Dutch talent Justin Kluivert failed to make an impact at Roma, but he is rediscovering his form at RB Leipzig.
“Perhaps Kluivert wasn’t ready for the move to Roma, but he needs to prove himself now, even though he’s still very young. For example, Tadic was one type of player in England, then he matured in Holland and became a leader.”