AFC Ajax are used to making the headlines about their incredible scouting system, their precocious academy graduates and an odd deep run into the knockout stages of the Champions League.
What we never saw coming was the Dutch Eredivisie winners being in the football headlines for a reason as seemingly childish as this: the club forgot to include their record signing Sébastien Haller in their Europa League squad list, in a decision that is deemed to be irreversible. Ajax admitted that they had indeed forgotten to register their star man.
Ajax acquired the services of Haller for a transfer fee of €22.5m, from West Ham United in the recently concluded January transfer window. The Ivorian forward became Ajax’s record signing for his fee but was a forgotten man in the squad list that the club submitted to be eligible to play in the knockout stages of the Europa League.
Haller’s name was surprisingly missing from the 23-man squad to the shock of fans and neutrals alike: the error is simply too unrealistic and sounds like something out of the Football Manager game instead of a real-life event.
As a result, the Dutch champions cannot field their record signing for the Europa League round of 32 that commences later this month. Haller will not be eligible to play if Ajax, who finished third in their Champions League group to merit qualification to the said round, proceed any further in the competition as well.
The news comes as a sucker punch to the outfit who broke the bank to get their man right before European football resumed: but now will have to do without the services of their record signing when Ajax meet French outfit LOSC Lille in their round of 32 fixture in the Europa League this season.
Check out the reaction below –
Dutch side Ajax have confirmed that they forgot to include their record signing Sébastien Haller in their Europa League registration squad— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) February 4, 2021
I mean we’ve all been there, but unfortunately Ajax can’t just reload the most recent save file. pic.twitter.com/V6JZ9aQwE0
Hahahaha lol— Rutger (@rutgerFM) February 5, 2021
Apparently Ajax cannot use Haller in the UEL because they wrongly (un)checked a box 🤣
Wish I could just forget her the way Ajax forgot to add Haller in UEL squad— Sarang (@sarangcasm) February 4, 2021
Ajax forgot to register Haller for the Europa League; I thought stuff like that only happened when you play FM after a few drinks. Guess I was wrong.— Guido Merry (@MerryGuido) February 3, 2021
WTF Ajax signed Seb Haller for 22M and then forgot to add him to the Europa League roster?— Vinod Ramnath (@NaanumEngineer) February 4, 2021
Lmao. Didn’t expect this brain fart moment from Ajax. Wassssup, VdS?