Hit or miss: 8 Dutch strikers from Premier League history as Spurs sign Janssen
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | July 12, 2016
As Tottenham have signed Netherlands international striker Vincent Janssen for a reported fee of £17m from Eredivisie outfit AZ Alkmaar, Coral’s football experts got thinking about which Dutch forwards have delighted and disappointed in the Premier League?
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) July 12, 2016
You just never know when footballers cross the North Sea from Holland and the other areas of that country whether a player will prove a hit or miss. Only time will tell if 7/1 Premier League title chances Spurs have been sold a pup!
In celebration of Janssen joining Tottenham and all things Dutch, we’ve picked out four flops and as many scoring heroes from the Premier League’s past. Remember any of these?
Dennis Bergkamp: Hit
Awesome at Ajax and average at Inter Milan, the word icon is overused in football, but Bergkamp really is worshipped by Arsenal fans, having spent 11 years at Highbury (1995-2006).
Never mind his fear of flying, brilliant Bergkamp banged the goals in, forming formidable partnerships with first Ian Wright and then Thierry Henry, notably dropping deeper as he got older.
Scoring 120 times for the Gunners in over 400 games across all competitions, Bergkamp is best remembered in club football for being part of Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles, who won the Premier League title in 2003/04 without losing a match.
Luuk de Jong: Miss
He may well be prolific for PSV Eindhoven, but De Jong disappointed when on loan at Newcastle United in a dozen league appearances during 2014.
We can’t single out this misfiring Magpies marksman as the only one to leave the Toon Army annoyed, as De Jong’s brother Siem also struggled on Tyneside, albeit because of a string of injuries.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: Hit
Two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner Hasselbaink is currently the QPR manager, but proved lethal in front of goal for Leeds United (1997-99), Chelsea (2000-04) and Middlesbrough (2004-06) before his striking powers finally started to wane at Charlton Athletic.
Only 11 players have scored more goals than Hasselbaink since the Premier League was formed in 1992, and don’t think he’s the only Dutchman on our list to feature on that all-time chart either.
Patrick Kluivert: Miss
Sorry to mention another one Newcastle fans, but Kluivert looked rather burned out by the time he signed for Sir Bobby Robson from the legendary Geordie manager’s old club Barcelona.
League titles at home and abroad in Spain, there was such an auspicious beginning to Kluivert’s career when Ajax pipped AC Milan to the 1995 Champions League crown.
For quite a few years, Kluivert was the Netherlands’ all-time top scorer in internationals, but managed to net just six goals for the Magpies in the 2004/05 Premier League. He managed 13 in all competitions during his only campaign in England. Kluviert was clearly one for the cup competitions!
Ruud van Nistelrooy: Hit
Being dubbed a goal machine is something of a footballing cliche but, with 150 goals in 219 games for Manchester United (2001-06), Van Nistelrooy was the epitome of those words.
Had he not been a contemporary of prolific Arsenal counterpart Henry, then Van Nistelrooy would’ve won more than one Premier League Golden Boot.
Breaking the 20-goal barrier in every single season he was fully fit at Old Trafford, Van Nistelrooy’s ability to make an immediate impact is one of the many reasons why so many English clubs are prepared to mine the Eredivisie for poaching talents in the year since he tore things up.
Robin van Persie: Hit
Sure, much of his early Premier League career was interrupted by injuries but, like Van Nistelrooy before him, Van Persie fired Man Utd to the Premier League title in 2012/13.
Great volleyed goals, first against Charlton in Arsenal colours and later for the Red Devils when playing Aston Villa, immediately leap to mind when thinking of Van Persie.
With a Premier League strike rate of 144 goals in 280 games, Van Persie is 10th on the all-time list and his back-to-back Golden Boot awards in 2012 and 2013 meant his career here was a resounding success.
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink: Miss
Much more of a hero north of the border with Celtic, the grandiose name didn’t really live up to its billing during Vennegoor of Hesselink’s sole season with Hull City (2009/10) as he managed just three goals.
Having fired the Bhoys to a couple of Scottish Premiership successes, his time at the Tigers was tame by comparison, leaving Vennegoor of Hesselink very much in the flop category.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel: Miss
The funny names keep on coming with still Norwich City-owned Van Wolfswinkel. Scoring plenty in his homeland and for Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon, imagine the disappointment at Carrow Road when he grabbed a sole Premier League goal in 2013/14.
Van Wolfswinkel was apparently nicknamed HatRicky because of his exploits in the Netherlands, but never looked capable of reproducing that form in England.