Ajax appoint Erik ten Hag as coach

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The Dutch side have recruited the former Bayern Munich II coach to replace Marcel Keizer on a two-and-a-half-year contract

Ajax have confirmed the appointment of Erik ten Hag as their new head coach.

The 47-year-old will join the capital club from fellow Eredivisie side Utrecht on January 1, signing a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Ten Hag worked alongside Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, where he coached the club's reserve side, before returning to Netherlands to take charge at Utrecht. 

He worked as both coach and technical director and guided them to a fifth-place finish in his first season and guided them to a first KNVB Beker final in 12 years, where they lost to Giovanni van Bronckhorst's Feyenoord. 

Ten Hag replaces the sacked Marcel Keizer, who lasted just a few months in charge after replacing Peter Bosz in charge in the summer.

After crashing out of both the Champions League and Europa League at the qualification phase, Keizer's side five poins behind Eredivisie leaders PSV at the turn of the year before he was relieved of his duties in December, while coaches Dennis Bergkamp and Hennie Spijkerman were simultaneously suspended.

Ten Hag, named Eredivisie Coach of the Year in 2016, was immediately seen as Ajax's first choice to replace Keizer and he made no secret of his interest in the job, 

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"Who would not want to become Ajax manager? I would view Ajax as a tremendous challenge," he said last week.

"Ajax is the most fascinating club in the Netherlands so of course you are interested in the position."

Ten Hag's reign at Ajax will begin with a headline clash against fierce rivals Feyenoord in the Johan Cruijff Arena on January 21.

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