Ex-Man Utd boss Van Gaal targets Arsenal key figure for ‘crisis club’; reporter claims move is ‘possible’

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal figure linked with Ajax
Mikel Arteta and Albert Stuivenberg.

According to reports, ex-Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal would like Dutch giants Ajax to snatch Albert Stuivenberg from Arsenal.

Van Gaal – who managed Man Utd between 2014 and 2016 – is a legend at Ajax and he has returned to the Eredivisie outfit as an advisor.

Ajax have been dreadful since Erik ten Hag left the club before the start of last season. Alfred Schreuder was sacked last term as they ended up feeling third in the Eredivisie.

Maurice Steijn was appointed as his permanent successor this summer but he was dismissed after only three months in charge.

Ajax’s 4-3 loss to Utrecht over the weekend leaves them 17th in the Eredivisie as they have picked up just five points in seven games.

The Dutch side won three league titles under Ten Hag and they have been linked with his assistant – Mitchell van der Gaag – in recent days.

But according to Dutch outlet Algemeen Dagblad (via The Mirror), Ajax are now turning their attention to Arsenal assistant Stuivenberg, with Van Gaal a ‘fan’ of his.

The veteran manager is said to be of the belief that Stuivenberg ‘could implement an attacking style of play’ at Ajax.

Stuivenberg was Van Gaal’s assistant at Man Utd after he had a stint as the manager of Netherlands U21s.

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More recently, he has been the Wales assistant manager and he has been with Arsenal – who have won five points from behind this term – since 2019. Dutch journalist Mikos Gouka (via Sport Witness) has doubts about whether the 53-year-old would leave the Gunners to join the ‘crisis club’ at this stage but it would be “possible” if “good staff are around him”.

“I think of Albert Stuivenberg, although I don’t know if he would do it. He is also more of a Feyenoord boy than an Ajax boy,” Gouka said (via Sport Witness).

“He sits very close to Mikel Arteta at Arsenal. But maybe he says: I’m in a good position at Arsenal, I earn this and that and if all goes well, we’ll conquer the Premier League.

“Why should I go to Ajax? I’m also a Rotterdammer by nature. Maybe that plays a role. You hear that name very rarely, while if you think of a Dutchman who can bring attacking football, then it might be possible.

“If you put a good staff around him with a large, prominent Ajax face in it, then I think it’s possible. The question is: are you looking forward to it as a trainer in an already lost season?”

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