Plenty of Southampton fans weren’t too happy when we decided to sell Dusan Tadic to Dutch side Ajax over the summer and plenty of fans have already commented it was a massive mistake given his form levels for the side in 2018/19.
The 30-year-old has enjoyed a fantastic season in the Eredivisie and their Champions League campaign, scoring 31 times in 47 appearances for them, and he’s even chipped in with 12 assists.
Now obviously the Eredivisie level is different from the Premier League, and Tadic’s admitted that fact and spoke about the physicality of our game and how much extra protection you get from referee’s in Holland as being a major factor behind why he wanted the move to go through.
Speaking to the Telegraph last week with Ajax preparing for the second leg of the CL semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur, he explained.
“I’m enjoying it playing in a more attacking role as a No 9. I have a lot of freedom in that position. I can move where I want. I like to have freedom and like to work hard for the team. We play for each other, we fight for each other, that’s the main thing. I left the Premier League because I got kicked all the time. If you don’t play for one of the top six teams, you cannot dominate games. You spend a lot of time without the ball. In the Premier League, it’s hard because you don’t get much protection, it seems to be 80 per cent for the defender and 20 per cent for the attacker. It’s much different if you play in Europe, you are protected more and I’ve loved playing for Ajax. We look to dominate against every team we play.”
It’s hardly a massive shock and he’s certainly not the first to make that point about the differences in the leagues and refereeing, but with everything else going on at the club at that time, the move has certainly benefited his own game.
That just naturally means fans will regret his departure even more as we knew what he was capable of doing for us when he was on song.