“It was so difficult to leave our new manager with such a void. We all think we lost too many first-team players who always start. We had a summer with totally different expectations. We wanted to keep the group together as much as possible to be able to perform well in the Champions League and to carry on being successful.
“That’s what we talked about with Alfred. Of course we knew there were a few snags. But no one had foreseen that our players would be bought for such huge sums of money.”
Boss Shreuder and Antony are believed to have had a row over the way the Brazilian’s move was handled. Hamstra added: “I understand Schreuder’s anger, very much so. I have been a manager myself, I know how annoying it is when your best player leaves at the very last minute. We did not want this, we wanted to keep Antony.”
A new-look Ajax have enjoyed an excellent start to the new season, winning all five of their Eredivisie matches. Former Tottenham winger Steven Bergwijn has already scored six goals in five league appearances.