There is an explosion of attacking flair and goals in the Dutch top flight this season and what is particularly exciting is that the majority of the main predicators are youngsters. The IM Scouting special report published in December highlighted that 14 of the 20 most effective offensive players in the Eredivisie were under 23.
We know youngsters are well coached and develop good technique at Dutch clubs, so let’s have a look at some of the attacking talent that might interest Premiership clubs in the coming months.
Player efficiency (goals and assists per minute), measured up to Christmas break:
862 Minutes played, 11 Goals, 3 assists – a goal scored or created every 61.57 minutes
John Guidetti joined Man City in 2010 and a series of loans has seen him end up as a 19-year-old at Feyernoord taking the Dutch league by storm.
Feyernoord are in a bad way financially so it seems improbable if he continues to score at such a rate, that they would be able to secure Guidetti as his price will have increased, and he still has 2 more years on his City contract after this campaign. However, even if Tevez and perhaps Dzeko depart, I can not see this youngster pushing for first team action at City. I predict multiple offers for this Swedish starlet in the summer.
1588 Minutes played, 13 Goals, 11 assists – a goal scored or created every 66.17 minutes
With respect to Guidetti, given the number of minutes on the pitch, it is the Belgian Mertens who has truly been the Eredivisie’s most fluent attacker. He had 13 goals and 17 assists last season for Utrecht, PSV snapped him up and he has been sensational. He has 16 goals and 16 assists in 26 starts in all competition and been involved in half of PSV’s league goals.
Generally cutting in from the left of a front three, Mertens is right footed, has incredible close control, speed, excellent vision and equally adept with power or craft in front of goal. PSV will not sell this winter, but this Belgian at 24, will be ready for a big league come the summer.
921 minutes, 10 goals, 3 Assists – a goal scored or created every 70.85 minutes
Not one of the younger stars at 28, but this Austrian international might also interest English clubs. He scored at a phenomenal rate in Austria, which I accept may not be a strong league. However 75 goals in just 108 games are impressive figures whatever the division is. This lead to Twente taking a gamble on him and he’s rewarded them with 24 in 44 games. He also has a 1 in 2 record for his country.
1575 minutes, 16 Goals 4 assists – a goal scored or created every 78.75 minutes
This towering central striker has been extremely well served by his wingers this season, but has also hit double figures in each of the past two campaigns. He has scored many with his head which you would expect at 1.92 metres in height and with his club playing two out-and-out wingers, but he has also showed a poachers instinct with many close range finishes.
Now at only 22, I know some Dutch fans have suggested he needs another season in the Eredivisie, but with Heerenveen unlikely to offer him any European football, it must be exceedingly likely that someone would take a punt on this young Dutch goal machine, who has also hit 5 goals in 10 matches for the U21s.
1606 minutes, 12 Goals 7 assist – a goal scored or created every 84.53 minutes
De Jong seems to be ahead of Dost career wise and whilst not as prolific as Dost this term, he does have a highly creditable 26 in 56 for Twente, alongside Janko and does seem to have a more all round game, providing regular assists for his teammates. In 2010, he topped both goal scoring and goal making charts for his club. His form in this calendar year has seen him earn 6 full international caps, playing alongside Robin van Persie for Holland and he is tipped to be a star of this summer’s European Championships. A Premiership manager might be sensible to make their move ahead of the tournament.
1565 minutes, 5 goals, 13 assists – a goal scored or created every 86.94 minutes
The last sensation I will look at, has it all and the right winger for Heerenveen, is the principal supplier for Dost. Of Indian-Surinamese descent, this dazzling dribbling speed king was deemed too light-weight for Ajax and released from their academy. I assume Ajax might regret their lack of foresight on this rare occasion, as Narsingh has made the right wing spot his own at Heerenveen in the past two seasons and this year, up until the Christmas break, he was the Eredivisie’s leading assist-maker.
He has resumed his partnership with Dost for the Netherland U21′s and I see no reason why he will not be pushing for full honours next year. Narsingh will be 22 at the start of 2012/13 and that is the final year of his club contract. Unless Heerenveen can qualify for at least the Europa league this is another young talent I cannot see in the Eredivisie next season.
There are many other players I could highlight, but from August to January, according to assists and goals per minutes played, these are the top 6 most effective attacking forces in Dutch football. Will we see any of them in the Premiership next season?
Which of these players would you like your club to sign? Have your own suggestion? Please leave your opinions in the comments section below…
Thanks to @goonerdave66 from o-posts.net for submitting this guest post