Ajax Pursuing Tagliafico and Avila as Potential Left Back Options

Ajax is urgently looking for a new left back and it has put Nicolas Tagliafico (Olympique Lyon) with Gaston Avila (Antwerp FC) on the wish list as an alternative. With their fiery and powerful profile, the two temperamental Argentinian defenders are quite comparable to each other.

Both Lyon and Antwerp are not prepared to just sell Tagliafico and Avila to Ajax. The Great Old, for example, asks for a transfer fee of 12 million euros, an amount that would make Avila the most expensive outgoing transfer in club history, after Willian Pacho (9 million euros, Eintracht Frankfurt).

Tagliafico or Avila to Ajax?

Ajax urgently needs reinforcements to be competitive in both the Eredivisie and Europe this season. A considerable quality boost is needed, especially at the left-back position. Technical director Sven Mislintat already has a clear idea of ​​the type of defender he wants to sign for this position. Ajax has taken steps to bring Nicolas Tagliafico from Olympique Lyon back to Amsterdam.

The club knows exactly what the former crowd favorite can offer the team: Tagliafico symbolizes passion, a winner’s mentality and grinta. In the Netherlands, Tagliafico is nicknamed “the Argentinian razor”, because of his fighting mentality and his sharp, but correct tackles. De Telegraaf has aptly described Tagliafico as a “fighting machine”, which is both powerful and dominant.

The 30-year-old seems to be open to a return to Ajax, but his current club Olympique Lyon is not just willing to let their strongman leave. For that reason, Mislintat keeps other options open that can offer the same qualities as Tagliafico. According to De Telegraaf, the name of Gaston Avila is being considered at Ajax if Tagliafico’s return does not succeed. Antwerp FC would rather not lose the 21-year-old defender and that is why it maintains a high transfer fee of 12 million euros.

‘Halve zot’ Avila

Avila has an interesting profile for Ajax: he is young, talented and versatile. He had a difficult adjustment period at Antwerp FC last year, especially the different style of play that is demanded in Europe, compared to that at his previous club Boca Juniors, proved to be a big challenge for him.

Sven Jaecques, however, counted on Avila to persevere at Antwerp and the Argentinian did. Since the turn of the year, he has completely adapted to European football, and has provided considerable added value as a left defender at De Bosuil. Avila does not stand out for his offensive impulses, but for his tough game, defense skills and Argentinian grinta.

“Gaston has that typical Argentinian DNA. He is a real warrior,” said Michel-Ange Balikwisha last season about his teammate. Avila always plays with a knife between his teeth, but sometimes he goes over the edge with his hard playing. Although his eccentric actions and sharp tackles often attract attention, he regularly flirts with yellow cards and sometimes makes ill-considered moves.

“He sometimes seemed to act like a fool,” Gazet van Antwerpen wrote about Avila last season, while Het Nieuwsblad stated that there is always an avoidable exclusion in the air for him. In the Supercup against KV Mechelen, he also picked up a red card after a daring tackle on Nikola Storm.

Avila and Tagliafico: temperamental owners

With his specific style of play, Avila shows striking similarities with Nicolas Tagliafico, which has resulted in Ajax’s scouting having two comparable left backs on their wish list. The experienced Tagliafico is more correct in his tackles than Avila, but the Antwerp defender is trying to work on that.

Avila gives the excuse that things are going faster in Belgium than in Argentina, where the duels are more physical. “That is normal in Argentina, but here people sometimes think that my way of playing is a bit too fierce. I had to find that balance,” he said in an interview with Het Laatste Nieuws.

If Avila manages to be less of a risk patient, he will undoubtedly have a great career ahead of him. Ajax is already showing interest in the 21-year-old, while Gazet van Antwerpen reports that even more foreign clubs are following the temperamental boss closely.

2023-08-17 23:59:38
#Antwerp #collision #heated #transfer

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