Premier League club, Bournemouth, have splashed out over €20m for Dutch defender, Nathan Ake. But that’s dwarfed by some Netherlands deals of the past
5 – Robin van Persie, Arsenal to Manchester United (€30.5M)
In what is arguably the most controversial transfer in recent Premier League history, Dutch striker Robin van Persie swapped the big-hitters of Arsenal for the very big-hitters of Manchester United in the summer of 2012. Since Van Persie joined Arsenal in 2004, The Gunners had picked up just a single FA Cup title despite the Dutchman firing on all cylinders at the time. After eight years in North London, Van Persie came to the conclusion that to win trophies he should leave.
Manchester United – the dominant force in English football at the time – picked up the striker for €30.5M, leaving Arsenal fans furious at both Van Persie for jumping ship and manager Arsène Wenger for letting him go. At Old Trafford, the Holland international immediately proved his class, scoring 30 goals and picking up his first Premier League title.
4 – Ruud van Nistelrooy, PSV Eindhoven to Manchester United (€30.5M)
You probably won’t ever see a player more hungry for goals than Ruud van Nistelrooy. “Really, I can only be dangerous for the team in one place, and that is in the box”, Van Nistelrooy once said and the danger he caused in the penalty area was unmatched. Sir. Alex Ferguson acknowledged the No9’s exceptional qualities and signed him from PSV Eindhoven in 2001.
Van Goal, as he was nicknamed, went on to score 150 goals in five years at the club before moving to Real Madrid after falling out with Ferguson. It was a strange end to what had been a successful period in his career but United fans have surely not forgotten Van Nistelrooy and his unbelievable goal-scoring abilities.
3 – Memphis Depay, PSV Eindhoven to Manchester United (€34M)
Both came over from Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven but while Van Nistelrooy became one of United’s greatest ever goal-scorers, Memphis Depay turned out to be a flop. The winger had impressed for Holland in the 2014 World Cup and also guided PSV to the title the following year. It made Louis van Gaal – who already knew Depay from managing the national team between 2012 and 2014 – purchase the rising star.
Depay enjoyed a bright start to his United career against Club Brugge in the Champions League qualifiers. He scored twice in a 3-1 win, giving the fans an indication of what could be to come. The potential he showcased on that day never came to the surface, however, and after a disappointing debut season, Depay left United for Olympique Lyon in the winter transfer window of 2017.
2 – Arjen Robben, Chelsea to Real Madrid (€36M)
In August 2007, Arjen Robben became a Galáctico by leaving Chelsea for Real Madrid. The pacy attacker joined fellow Dutch internationals Wesley Sneijder and Ruud van Nistelrooy at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Robben’s time at the club was by no means a failure but, by any stretch of the imagination, could not be classified as a success.
It wasn’t until the winger left Madrid to play for Bayern Munich that Robben entered his peak and guided the German heavyweights to both domestic and international glory. At Real, Robben picked up a La Liga in his two seasons at the club.
1 – Marc Overmars, Arsenal to Barcelona (€40M)
The most expensive Dutchman of all time is still Marc Overmars. The winger’s transfer to Barcelona back in 2000, saw Arsenal receive €40M – an extraordinary figure at the time. Overmars joined Arsenal in 1997 from Ajax where he had won virtually everything. At Arsenal, Overmars continued picking up trophies, winning the Premier League in his first season at the club. His performances at Arsenal didn’t go unnoticed and Barcelona eventually secured Overmars’ services.
In Spain, injuries prevented the winger from reaching the heights he reached for Ajax and Arsenal. No trophies were won in his spell at the Camp Nou and individually Overmars didn’t play his best football. In July 2004, Overmars announced his retirement from professional football.