In a candid interview, Dusan Tadic, former captain of Ajax, has openly criticised the club’s decision to appoint Sven Mislintat as the director of football affairs.

Sven Mislintat, Arsenal's former Head of Recruitment.
Sven Mislintat, Arsenal’s former Head of Recruitment.

Former Ajax captain Dusan Tadic has expressed his discontent with the appointment of Sven Mislintat as the director of football affairs at Ajax, a decision he found “totally absurd.”

Tadic, who recently moved to Fenerbahce, questioned the suitability of Mislintat, a German, in a crucial role at a club deeply rooted in Dutch football culture.

In an extensive interview with Football International, Tadic expressed his admiration for the Dutch approach to football, citing legends like Rinus Michels, Johan Cruijff, and Louis van Gaal.

He found it baffling that a German was chosen to oversee operations at Ajax, saying, “Then explain to me: why did a German man suddenly have to decide how everything would function at Ajax? Totally absurd!”

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Tadic argued that the difference between Dutch and German football cultures was significant and that Mislintat’s approach was not aligned with Ajax’s ethos.

He insisted that the responsibility lay with the Ajax officials who appointed Mislintat, as they should have ensured alignment with the club’s values and footballing philosophy.

Despite several conversations with Mislintat, Tadic felt a disconnect with his vision for Ajax, leading to his departure.

“He spoke very positively about me and wanted me to stay. But in all honesty: he didn’t feel like the right person in such an important position for Ajax,” Tadic explained. He appreciated Mislintat’s professionalism but was adamant that his approach was not right for Ajax, a sentiment he believed was evident in recent months.

Tadic’s departure from Ajax came after five successful seasons, driven by his deep love for the club and a reluctance to be a part of a system that he felt was deviating from Ajax’s traditional values.

His candid revelations shed light on the complexities and challenges of managing a football club’s identity amid changes in leadership and footballing philosophies.

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