Winning the Eredivisie was just the first challenge for Feyenoord. Now, the real work begins in trying to keep up with the giants of Ajax and PSV
Feyenoord are back amongst the elite of Dutch football after winning their first league title since 1999 last season. However, if the club wants to stay in competition with Ajax and PSV Eindhoven, they have to invest drastically in the summer transfer window.
It has often been said that silverware is won in the off-season and we don’t even have to look abroad to see a fine example of it. Because before Feyenoord got their hands on the Eredivisie title, PSV won the league twice and looked untouchable. In contrast, this year they finished third and looked slow and weak.
PSV had the same squad for three years and as a consequence, everybody was in their comfort zone and the hunger of winning titles seemed to have slipped away. Feyenoord should be wary of this and act sensibly in the transfer market.
The Rotterdammers have already signed some fresh blood in Sofyan Amrabat, Jean-Paul Boëtius and Kevin Diks. All three are interesting reinforcements and could surely improve Feyenoord. Amrabat, for example, is a rising 20-year-old youngster coming over from FC Utrecht, who plays as a central midfielder. For €4M, Feyenoord has signed up one of the most promising Dutch talents around.
The second summer signing is one that has gone down well with the Feyenoord fans. For €1.5M the Dutch champions have made Jean-Paul Boëtius return to the club. After a failed spell at FC Basel, the entertaining winger has returned home just in time to play in the Champions League for his boyhood club. Boëtius in a rocking Kuip is something special.
The third signing is right fullback Kevin Diks, who has come over from Fiorentina on a one-year loan deal. Diks has been bought as the replacement of Rick Karsdorp, who has been sold to AS Roma for €14M. Karsdorp is one of five first team players that have left the club this summer.
Feyenoord secure Kevin Diks loan https://t.co/QXV1CDbNQw
— Feyenoord Rotterdam (@Feyenoord_int) July 4, 2017
Dirk Kuyt and Steven Berguis both left without the club receiving a compensation as the former retired while the latter’s loan ended. In Berghuis’ case, it’s not unlikely that he will return to Feyenoord as the club is negotiating with Watford.
Besides Kuyt and Berghuis, Feyenoord have sold players for big money. The aforementioned Karsdorp has earned the club some cash and the same can be said about Terence Kongolo. For €15M, the youth graduate left Feyenoord and joined French giants AS Monaco. Add the fee of Eljero Elia’s transfer to Basaksehir to that and the club has received a total amount of €30.5M on player transfers.
Which positions need strengthening?
In Diks, Feyenoord has replaced Karsdorp. The club is still in the market for someone to fill the void Kongolo has left behind. Former Ajax player Marvin Zeegelaar has been mentioned as an option for that position. Zeegelaar is a player with Champions League experience so could be a good signing as Feyenoord are preparing for Champions League football for the first time in years.
In midfield, Feyenoord haven’t lost any of their key players but with European football on the menu, some squad depth is required. Amrabat is a good addition and if Feyenoord can sign a qualified No10 on top of that, the midfield will be ready to challenge on all fronts next season.
Finally, in attack, Feyenoord could do with at least one high-profile winger to enlarge their chances of repeated success. Sam Larsson and Steven Berghuis have been constantly linked with a move to Rotterdam but the player who Feyenoord should be really looking into is Rodrigo Amaral.
Granted, he has some weight issues but that can be sorted out. The 20-year-old Uruguayan is one of the biggest talents in South America and recently was the top scorer of the South American Youth Championships. For as little as €3M, Amaral can be bought. A front line of Boëtius-Jorgensen-Amaral will make Feyenoord a force to be reckoned with both in Holland and in Europe.