Hit or miss: Coral’s Premier League era Eredivisie exports XI
Prolific PSV Eindhoven star Memphis Depay’s impending move to Manchester United has caused quite the kerfuffle, inspiring Sky Sports to rate how previous top scorers from the Dutch top tier have adapted to life in England.
Signings straight from the Netherlands have surely been a mixed bag, and this got Coral writers thinking about alternative Eredivise players to have graced the Premier League with their presence.
So, for your reading pleasure, here is our starting XI of Eredivisie buys, both fantastic and flops, to have arrived in England from 2003 onwards. Find out who we think was a hit and who was a miss….
Goalkeeper: Heurelho Gomes (Tottenham – miss)
Likeable Brazilian stopper Gomes made several high-profile slip-ups during his five season stint with Spurs. The hapless post protector eventually lost his no 1 spot to become third choice behind Hugo Lloris and Brad Friedel, and so subsequently fell out of contention for the position of Samba Boys custodian.
Watch some of Gomes’ goalkeeping errors:
Right back: Brett Emerton (Blackburn Rovers – hit)
Rampant wideman Brett Emerton arrived at Rovers from Rotterdam giants Feyenoord and the defender, who can play anywhere along the right flank, took to Ewood Park like a duck to water, spending eight full seasons with the Lancashire club.
Centre back: Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa – neither fantastic nor flop )
The jury is still out on Villa’s sturdy if unspectacular centre half Vlaar, with the Dutch international’s injuries meaning he has not been a consistent presence for the Midlands men this campaign, having also joined from Feyenoord in 2012. Aston Villa are 9/4 with Coral to lift the FA Cup crown.
Centre back: Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham – neither fantastic nor flop)
Vertonghen is another defender yet to fully convince, despite his evident ability on the ball. The Ajax academy product is always eager to help Spurs spring attacks, but is prone to the odd error in his own area.
Left back: Alexander Buttner (Manchester United – miss)
Much-maligned Buttner made just 13 league appearances over his two terms at Old Trafford, having been brought in to challenge Patrice Evra. An excellent debut aside, the unreliable and attack-minded Dutch fullback failed to live up to expectations.
See Buttner’s jammy debut Red Devils goal:
Defensive midfielder: Denny Landzaat (Wigan Athletic – hit)
Landzaat arrived at the Lactics from AZ Alkmaar for a bargain price of around £2.5m, and went on to become a consistent performer in the engine room, before returning to his home nation.
Right central midfield: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham – hit)
Eriksen is certainly one of the Eredivise’s most recent excellent exports. Intelligent, graceful and a joy to watch, the dangerous Danish playmaker is another savvy purchase to have won over White Hart Lane after leaving giants Ajax in 2013.
Left central midfield: Park Ji-Sung (Manchester United and QPR – hit)
Nicknamed ‘Three Lungs’ for his energy, exuberance and industry, South Korea icon Park was certainly a fan favourite in Manchester. The former PSV player was restricted by the Red Devils, who often used the midfield dynamo in a more defensive role, but remained a big-game performer. A subsequent spell with QPR was less fruitful, as the club were relegated during Park’s short stay.
Right wing: Arjen Robben (Chelsea – neither fantastic nor flop)
Robben reached impressive heights at Real Madrid (3/1 to win the Champions League) and Bayern Munich, but the wing wizard first moved from PSV to Chelsea, where injury niggles and inexperience meant he showed but glimpses of his true potential, grabbing just 15 league goals in three seasons.
Centre forward: Robin van Persie (Arsenal and Manchester United – hit)
It took time for now prolific Van Persie to make his mark in England after moving from Feyenoord as a promising youngster to link-up with the Gunners in 2004. An impressive 144 league goals and a move to Man Utd later, the flying Dutchman is still a formidable force.
Left wing: Ryan Babel (Liverpool – miss)
Ajax academy product Babel arrived at Anfield after excelling at the UEFA Under-21 Championships, but the Clockwork Orange attacker was the definition of inconsistency and failed to convert his hype into end product for the Reds, racking up just 12 strikes in 91 league outings.
Take a peek at Babel’s miss from a cheeky Thierry Henry pass in a Liverpool charity match: