From Luis Suarez to Robin Van Persie, the Dutch League has provided super stars to the Premier League in the past. Here are 5 more potential Dutch masters.
Davy Klaassen: Ajax – Midfielder
For every summer since 2013/2014, Davy Klaassen has been linked to big clubs in England and Italy. Yet, the 23-year-old still plays for Ajax and has grown into being the club’s most important player. Klaassen may not be the most technical of footballers, but the Dutchman has one quality which puts him miles ahead of everybody else coming through Ajax’s famous youth ranks – his unbelievable drive. It makes him lead by example, hence his captaincy.
Considering his age, a move away from the Amsterdam Arena seems imminent within the next two transfer windows. A good fit for the lively midfielder might be Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool. The German manager likes his players to deliver high-intensity performances, a box Klaassen certainly ticks.
Rick Karsdorp: Feyenoord – Fullback
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher famously said “no one wants to be a fullback. No one wants to grow up to be a Gary Neville”. Despite it being a little bit of banter with his Sky Sports colleague, there is some truth in his remarks.
Feyenoord full-back Rick Karsdorp is a perfect example. The 21-year-old played as a No10 throughout his whole youth career and was only converted to a defender when joining the first-team. Because of the Dutchman’s history as an offensive midfielder, Karsdorp brings quality to build-up play and launches a lot of his team’s attacks.
His good performances with Feyenoord even resulted in interest from Manchester United boss José Mourinho. The Portuguese manager might see Karsdorp as the successor of Antonio Valencia, who is now in his 30’s.
Kasper Dolberg: Ajax – Forward
When you talk about players doing well in Holland, there always dominates a feeling of skepticism. And rightly so, because many have failed miserably elsewhere. It still doesn’t stop clubs looking for that one Luis Suárez or Ruud van Nistelrooy. Ajax have someone that comes as close as anyone to the latter two for the past 15 years. His name is Kasper Dolberg.
The 19-year-old Dane joined Ajax 18-months-ago from hometown club Silkeborg IF and has impressed ever since. His main qualities are his deadly right foot, a great first-touch, good dribbling and decent pace. Add all these qualities together and you’ve got a near-complete striker.
Looking forward, a move to English giants Arsenal wouldn’t be a bad match. The Gunners have been looking for a world-class striker for a while, and Dolberg could be their main man in the long-term.
Jetro Willems: PSV – Fullback
Few fullbacks provide better service than PSV Eindhoven’s Jetro Willems. The left-footed Dutchman demonstrated that when he contributed to PSV’s 2014/2015 title-winning campaign with 13 assists, an outrageous number for a defender. Since that season, it’s been a tough period for Willems, though, as he’s been plagued by injuries which has subsequently taken their toll on his performance levels.
The 24-times Dutch international, however, is still an in-demand youngster with elite European clubs constantly being linked with him. At 22-years-of-age, the time might be right to make a move to a bigger competition. When looking at possible destinations, Chelsea springs to mind. The left wingback position in Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 formation suits Willem’s qualities perfectly.
Marvelous Nakamba: Vitesse – Midfielder
Marvelous by name, marvelous by nature. That’s how you can sum up Marvelous Nakamba. The man born in Zimbabwe signed for Vitesse Arnhem in 2014. Since then, the defensive midfielder introduced himself as an aggressive ball winner with good passing ability. A bit like Chelsea star N’Golo Kanté.
His style of play occasionally leads him to overstep the mark, but at 22-years-of-age that can be curbed from his game. Leaving his rashness aside, Nakamba is a stunning player that could do well in the highly competitive Premier League. A mid-table side like Everton would be a perfect next step for the African’s development.