Rio Ferdinand has rubbished Wesley Sneijder’s scathing criticism of Ajax midfielder Edson Alvarez. Chelsea were very keen on signing the Mexico international towards the end of the 2022 summer transfer window. The Blues submitted a £43million offer for Alvarez back in August but Ajax were desperate to keep the midfielder. The Dutch giants managed to do so, despite Alvarez making his desire to leave the club known to senior officials, football.london understand.
Alvarez, though, has been professional and remains a key figure of the Ajax team. Alvarez has made 16 appearances in all competitions for the Amsterdam-based club this season so far – including five in the UEFA Champions League. The Mexican has played home and away in defeats to Liverpool, where he found it difficult in both matches to limit the Reds’ attacking threat.
Ahead of Ajax and Liverpool’s most recent meeting (on Wednesday evening, with Liverpool winning 3-0), former Netherlands international Sneijder was very critical of Alvarez. The former Ajax midfielder warned Chelsea and any other potential suitors to steer clear of Alvarez.
“Edson Alvarez plays every ball backwards or sideways, he’s of no use,” Sneijder said to Voetbal International . “They [Ajax] should have taken him to London quickly. You could have signed two good players for that [the £43m Chelsea offered in the summer].”
Responding to those comments from the Dutchman, Ferdinand and his BT Sport colleague Peter Crouch strongly disagreed. Ferdinand said on BT Sport:
“I saw some comments from Wesley Sneijder saying that Ajax should have got rid of him when Chelsea put in a bid for him because he passes the ball backwards. “But he does some of the stuff you don’t normally see, definitely not Instagrammable. He does the stuff when he breaks the play up and allows the more creative players to go and perform. These types of players are so invaluable and you appreciate them so much because they give you the platform to go and play the football Ajax love to play.”
Crouch added: “He is a player that is key to them, they have a lot of forward-thinking players but he’s the one that likes to sit in midfield. A lot of players have gone and Ajax have sold a number of big players recently. “You look at Antony, Lisandro Martinez, there is a lot of money in their squad, do they have to sell another one? I don’t think they do and they could keep hold of him and potentially build around him.”
Whether or not Chelsea return to the Alvarez situation in the January transfer window remains to be seen, but the club do retain an interest in the 25-year-old. football.london understands there have been lengthy discussions behind the scenes regarding midfield targets. Todd Boehly is now assembling a team of people to work on the transfer front for Chelsea. Over the past two days, Laurence Stewart and Joe Shields have been appointed as technical director to focus on football globally and co-director of recruitment and talent, respectively.