Alex Mendez’s long wait came to an end on Friday with the American midfielder returning to Ajax training for the first time this year.
Mendez had been out for Ajax since October through injury, but made the return to group training in hopes of playing a part in the second-half of the domestic season. The 20-year-old recorded two assists in seven appearances for Jong Ajax in the Eerste Divisie before being sidelined for the past three months.
Overall it was a positive step for Mendez who will now aim to stay fit into a busy 2021 at both club and international level.
“I was happy,” Mendez said in an interview with Inside Ajax. “I was happy to be able to change and go out on the field. I was part of the group again and didn’t watch from a distance while they were training further on. That was very nice.”
Mendez has yet to make his senior debut for the Eredivisie side, but has shown promising moments with Jong Ajax over the past year-and-a-half. He’s contributed two goals and four assists in 29 combined Eerste Divisie appearances and has trained with Ajax’s first team in the past.
The former U.S. Under-20 and Under-17 Men’s National Team player is an exciting prospect in Ajax’s ranks currently and could get his chance with the first team this Spring if all goes well. Mendez earned four appearances with Jason Kreis’ U-23’s as well and could be a future USMNT call-in down the road.
As for now the attacking midfielder will continue working towards a return to Jong Ajax, who has three league matches remaining in January. Up next is a date with Jong Utrecht on Monday before matches against Go Ahead Eagles and Jong PSV.