The young Barcelona striker Isaac Cuenca recently joined the Dutch Eredivisie club Ajax on a loan deal till the end of the season. After completing the loan move, the 21-year-old said that the Ajax manager Frank de Boer was a major influence in convincing him that move to Ajax was the right decision. The Spanish under 23 international had been linked with a whole host of other clubs in Europe before completing a move to Ajax. Cuenca came through the Barcelona youth academy, which has produced several stars like Lionel Messi and Iniesta over the years.
However, he had found first-team opportunities limited under the new management of Tito Vilanova in the first half of the season. As a result, he had to be loaned out in order to help him get experience. Cuenca has said that the formation of Ajax, which is similar to the 4-3-3 employed by Barcelona, was also crucial factor in moving to the Dutch club. After dominating the league for most of the season, the team have been finding it difficult to maintain their form in recent weeks. As a result, they have been overtaken by PSV in the table. PSV have a two point advantage over Ajax after having played 24 matches.
“I am very happy to be here. I could have gone to many other clubs, but Ajax’s 4-3-3 style of play is similar to Barcelona. The presence of the former Barcelona players Frank de Boer and Marc Overmars played a major role. They knew me well and wanted me. I hope to play this weekend, but that is a decision of the coach. Now I am 100 per cent fit. I feel healthy and strong,” said the 21-year-old striker. Ajax now have eight players capable of playing in the forward positions alone.