Tottenham vs Ajax: 10 players who have represented both clubs in the Champions League era

30 Apr

Tottenham Hotspur host Ajax at their new stadium tonight in one of the biggest games in the club’s modern history.

Even a decade ago getting to a Champions League semi-final was unthinkable and now they’re in one at their incredible arena.

Ajax manager Erik ten Hag and Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino.

The two clubs have plenty of history themselves and over the years have often signed players who have played a role for the other.

Most recently, Spurs spent a club record £42.5million on Colombian centre-back Davinson Sanchez, who has been a fine acquisition, albeit with some tweaks still needed to his game.

And the Premier League side may yet add another name to the list as they target Donny van de Beek.

But who are the other players who have played for both since the advent of the contest the two clubs will battle in tonight? Find out below.


Spurs fans convinced injured Harry Kane will play Champions League semi-final TONIGHT as club post image of his kit


Davinson Sanchez

Still only 22, the Colombian is fast approaching 100 games for Spurs in two season. His acclimatisation has been swifter than many thought and with injuries hitting both Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen in both campaigns he’s been reliable when called upon and is developing nicely.

Davinson Sánchez played in the UEFA Europa League final against Manchester United in 2017

Toby Alderweireld

Sneakily signed from Atletico Madrid under the noses of Southampton, who loaned the player in 2014/15 but failed to cough up in time to land him permanently. He’s been a revelation from the start at White Hart Lane and undoubtedly one of the club’s greatest ever defenders.

Toby Alderweireld challenges Carlos Tevez of Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League back in 2012

Christian Eriksen

One of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ signed after the club sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for £85.3million, he’s one of two left, along with Erik Lamela and has been the bargain of the bunch thanks to his £11million fee. Eriksen is close to clocking up 300 games for the club and has 48 Premier League goals to his name and 60 assists.

Christian Eriksen in action for Ajax in 2012

Jan Vertonghen

Super Jan stuck with Spurs during some rough times at the club, playing under Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood. He’s rightly considered a hero and should, really, be thought of a modern legend. Vertonghen’s display against Borussia Dortmund at left wing-back was one of the best by any Tottenham star this season.

Jan Vertonghen captained Ajax to the Eredivisie title at Amsterdam Arena in 2011/12

Rafael van der Vaart

He may have only managed 60 minutes in most matches but they were world-class contributions. A partnership with Peter Crouch was curious on paper but worked wonders on the pitch. He helped Spurs to a Champions League quarter-final appearance and was always up for north London derbies, which endeared him to fans. He gave them two years of great memories.

Rafael van der Vaart celebrates scoring for Tottenham Hotspur in 2012

Edgar Davids

Already an Ajax legend thanks to his spell in the early 90s, he joined Tottenham in 2005 on a free transfer after he’d helped turn Barcelona around with an inspiring loan spell. His arrival at White Hart Lane wasn’t quite as impactful but he played a crucial season-and-a-half spell with the club as they evolved into a top six side. He re-signed for Ajax in 2007 and almost helped them to a title before leaving in 2008.

During his time at Spurs, Edgar Davids battled with Chelsea legend Frank Lampard

Steven Pienaar

The South African midfielder used Ajax as a stepping-stone to bigger things in the early 2000s, playing 94 league game before joining Borussia Dortmund. He then impressed at Everton with Spurs snapped him up in 2011 but he failed to produce and returned to Goodison Park, first on loan and then permanently just a year later.

Steven Pienaar starred in the Champions League for Ajax

Mido

A troublesome character in his early years, he had a prolific spell with Ajax cut short after numerous indiscretions in 2003. After spells with Celta Vigo, Marseille, and Roma, he found his way to White Hart Lane, on loan initially. His debut saw him net two goals against Portsmouth and he was a success, scoring 11 goals in his first full campaign. His permanent deal didn’t quite go as well with just two goals before leaving for Middlesbrough.

Mido threw a pair of scissors at Zlatan Ibrahimovic during his spell in Amsterdam

Teemu Tainio

A League Cup winner with Spurs, the hard-working and versatile midfielder was an excellent free transfer signing in 2005. He gave the club three good seasons and expertly trolled Didier Drogba in the aforementioned Carling Cup triumph over rivals Chelsea. He was reunited with ex-boss Martin Jol at Ajax in 2010 but after just five appearances in total he left for New York Red Bulls. His son Maximus now plays for Tottenham’s academy.

Tainio celebrates scoring against West Ham United in their famous 4-3 win at Upton Park in 2007

Thimothee Atouba

The eccentric Cameroonian left-back was famed for giving Spurs fans anxiety attacks due to his insistence on performing Cruyff turns in his own penalty area. His famous strike against Newcastle at St James’ Park with his weak right foot ended up being his only Premier League goal for the club as he left after just one season. One FA Cup match with Nottingham Forest saw him heavily jeered by his own supporters as he struggled up against Kris Commons. Like Tainio, Jol signed him for Ajax, from Hamburg, but he only made three senior appearances for the club.

Atouba’s goal against Newcastle was the high point of his Tottenham career

Bonus

Mounir El Hamdaoui

Perhaps the least known, from a Spurs angle, the Moroccan striker joined the north Londoners from Excelsior in the Netherlands back in January 2005 but he never made a Premier League appearance for the club and was shunted out on loan to Derby County for the start of the 2005/06 season. Injuries ended this early and he was sold to Willem II in 2006. He was hit by injuries there too but was reborn at AZ Alkmaar and scored 50 goals in 81 Eredivisie matches, earning him a switch to Ajax. Here he starred too – under Jol again – scoring in the Champions League against AC Milan. Jol, though, was replaced by Frank de Boer and he fell out with the striker, which meant that despite 19 goals in 38 matches in all competitions in 2010/11, he didn’t play at all in 2011/12 and was eventually sold to Fiorentina.

AC Milan’s Gennaro Gattuso attempts to tackle Mounir El Hamdaoui in the Champions League in 2010