Edwin van der Sar believes that Davinson Sanchez left for Tottenham “too early”.
Tottenham signed Sanchez for an initial £28million fee this summer, which could rise to £42m with add-ons.
It represents the latest step in a rapid rise for the centre-half, who only moved to Europe in 2016.
Sanchez spent just one year at Ajax before joining the north London club, and former Manchester United keeper Van Der Sar, who is now CEO at the Dutch club, regrets that he left so soon.
“I’d rather not replace them because I want to have as good a team as possible,” he said.
“But we know at a certain point that this league is not strong enough so after a few years, hopefully if you play three, four or five years for the club and give us two or three championships and success in Europe then [in an] ideal world it is the right step to go forward.
“I think with Sanchez one year was too early, he should have stayed two or three years.
“But sometimes with the financial power that is looming over us in the bigger leagues it’s quite difficult for even a big club like Ajax coming from a small league to resist certain transfers.”