Isaac Cuenca made an impressive surge from playing for Sabadell CF in the third division in the 2010-11 season to starting a Champions League semifinal for FC Barcelona in 2011-12. But a knee injury that required surgery has prevented him from making a single appearance this season.
With the return of David Villa from his own serious injury, playing time would be limited for another wide forward. For that reason, Barca were keen to loan out Cuenca as he regains his fitness and form. Valencia was strongly interested, as well as other La Liga teams, but it is the Dutch side AFC Ajax who will have the winger's services.
The lanky forward was a favorite of Pep Guardiola because of his ability to provide width like a classic winger. He also scored four goals.
He had initially rejected the loan to Ajax, but after a phone conversation with manager Tito Vilanova, Cuenca changed his mind. Vilanova, still recovering in the United States, advised Cuenca that Ajax would be a good choice as their philosophy is similar to Barca's.
Several managers and players have been a part of both teams, including Johan Cruyff, Patrick Kluivert, and Louis Van Gaal. Much of Barcelona's philosophy and overall strategy came from Cruyff's time with the team after he arrived from Ajax.