Gregory van der Wiel tried to return to Ajax in 2018. This was after his contract with the Italian Cagliari expired. Only the Amsterdammers were not interested at that time.
“When I left Cagliari, I looked at coming back to Ajax,” says Van der Wiel in the Life After Football podcast. “I could be picked up for free, but they didn’t want me. And a few weeks later they bought Daley Blind for twenty million. Then I also thought: you don’t want me for free, but Daley does for twenty million. It’s blow, after blow, after blow and they all do something to you.”
Van der Wiel ended up at Toronto FC, but did not get a job there either. He therefore contacted the Atlanta United of Frank de Boer at the time. “They didn’t want me. I wanted to live in Los Angeles with my family, so I approached the two clubs there, but they didn’t want me either. Then I offered to come and play for free, but that didn’t change anything. That while in my eyes I was perhaps the best right back of that competition. Why? I think imaging.”