Who to Watch in Ajax’s Young Team Threatening Manchester United’s European Dream

On Sunday, in Ajax’s last game of the season the team missed out on the Eredivisie title by a single point. It won the match against Willem II 3-1 but the game represented the club’s ethos: it has total faith in its young players.

The average age of the Ajax team was 20 years old. Although it may not be the starting line up for Wednesday’s Europa League final against Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United, Peter Bosz’s team will be packed with young stars.

Here, Newsweek looks at the players to keep an eye out for during the final in Stockholm:

Kasper Dolberg—19 years old

At the point of Ajax’s attack, Dolberg has delivered this season for his club despite still being a teenager. His 22 goals in 42 appearances helped him finish the season as the club’s top scorer, and making it a challenger for the title.

The Danish striker, who already represented his country in November 2016, has played a pivotal role in Ajax’s route to Stockholm. He has scored six goals in nine appearances in the Europa League this season, four of which came in the knockout rounds. Dolberg is a powerful striker with a composed finish who can cause harm to Mourinho’s defense.

Kasper Dolberg Kasper Dolberg at Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, February 23. Dolberg is at the spear of Ajax’s attack. Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty

Bertrand Traore—21 years old

A skillful winger with a lethal left foot, Traore has troubled many teams this season by cutting in from the right wing and finishing on his favored side.

The Burkina Faso forward is on loan to Ajax from Chelsea and has contributed 13 goals in 36 appearances for the Dutch club during the campaign. Traore has excelled in the European competition, featuring in all but two of the games, with four goals and as many assists.

Bertrand Traore Bertrand Traore at Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, May 3. Traore is on loan from Chelsea. EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty

Hakim Ziyech—24 years old

At 24, Ziyech is one of the most experienced players in the Ajax lineup. The Dutchman has been deployed as an attacking midfielder but is capable of playing further up the field and down the right.

Ziyech has proved to be one of the most influential figures in Ajax’s development, by providing the highest number of assists in the league (11) and joint highest in Europe (four). His most memorable display came in the 4-1 semifinal first leg win over Lyon, where he provided three assists for his team.

Hakim Ziyech Hakim Ziyech at Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany, April 20. Ziyech provided four assists in the semifinal first leg against Lyon. Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty

Amin Younes—23 years old  

Produced by Borussia Dortmund, the German forward moved to Ajax in 2015 and has played a crucial role in the club’s advances over the past two years.

Younes is capable with both feet, able to play on either the left or right wing and take on defenders. He is a composed forward with a smart finish, but has only been able to score seven goals for…

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