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Reports: Ajax legend leading candidate for Atlanta United manager job

Is this Tata Martino’s replacement?

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Crystal Palace Unveil Their New Manager Frank de Boer Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images

According to multiple reports on Friday, Atlanta United appear to be closing in on a replacement for the recently departed Tata Martino.

ESPNFC and The Athletic both report that Ajax legend Frank de Boer is a top candidate for the open job. Jeff Carlisle of ESPN says that de Boer is simply a candidate for the job, while Paul Tenorio of The Athletic goes even further to call him the leading candidate.

de Boer, 48, is one of the all-time greats of Dutch soccer, appearing for the Netherlands national team 112 teams, playing in two World Cups.

His managerial career has been spotty since retiring. He enjoyed great success with the club he starred for as a player, Ajax. There he won the Eredivisie four times in five and a half years, holding a 60.3 win percentage.

He rode his initial success to two more high profile jobs with Inter Milan and Crystal Palace. Both of which were brief and ended with his firing. describes de Boer’s managing style as possession demanding:

Possession is everything for De Boer, and he’s happy to instruct his teams to hold back and take fewer risks if it means they remain in control of the ball – a focus that has drawn comparisons with his old mentor, Louis van Gaal.

With Tata Martino deciding to let his contract expire, it’s no secret that Atlanta United have been searching for a manager with an attacking style. While de Boer may not have seen much success in the very tough, defensive-minded leagues like the Premier League and Serie A, his success in Dutch soccer should give any Five Stripes supporter cause for hope that the entertaining style you’ve grown accustomed to will live on.

What do you think of this rumor? Does it make sense?