The Dutch Eredivisie has been a fruitful source of talent for the English Premier League for many years with plenty of players who have made the move from The Netherlands to England over the years. Here are five Eredivisie players who made successful moves in the Premier League.
5 best Eredivisie players to play in the Premier League
Robin Van Persie
Robin Van Persie is the current all-time leading goal scorer for the Dutch national team but it was his performances in the English Premier League which made him a household name. RVP was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands and rose through the ranks of Feyenoord’s youth system.
He made his senior debut with the Dutch club in the 2001-2002 season before his transfer to the Premier League side Arsenal in 2004. He scored 96 goals in 194 appearances for the Gunners, which could have been significantly more if not for injury woes, before controversially moving to rivals Manchester United where he eventually became a Premier League champion in 2013.
RVP exited English football in 2015 when he joined Turkish side Fenerbache but not before going down as one of the greatest Dutchmen and former Eredivisie players to ply his trade in the Premier League. In his time in England Van Persie won the golden boot award twice, was an FA cup champion and also a Premier League champion. As of writing, he is the highest-scoring Dutchman to play in the Premier League, bagging a total of 144 goals during his tenure in England’s top flight.
Second on our list of former Eredivisie players to make the move to England, Georginio Wijnaldum also hails from Rotterdam Netherlands and was a product of Feyenoord’s youth system, although his childhood years were spent in Sparta Rotterdam’s academy. He later moved to PSV Eindhoven where his stock as a footballer grew. He gained international acclaim in their 2014-15 season when he captained the club to its first Eredivisie title since 2008.
This success led Premier League club Newcastle United to show interest in the midfielder which culminated in a move to St James’ Park. Individually, he enjoyed a terrific season finishing as Newcastle’s leading goalscorer. This included scoring on his debut and an epic 4 goal performance against Norwich City on October 18th, making him only the second player in Newcastle’s rich history to score more than three goals in a Premier League match.
However, Newcastle was relegated from the Premier League at the end of Wijnaldum’s first and only season for the Tyneside club. Through Newcastle’s relegation, Liverpool F.C. seized the opportunity and signed the talented Dutchman. Since then, Wijnaldum has become an integral piece in Jurgen Klopp’s dominant Liverpool squad.
“Gini” famously contributed two goals as a substitute in their second leg comeback against FC Barcelona in their semi-final match on their journey to win the coveted Uefa Champions League title in 2019. A season later Liverpool won the Premier League title for the first time with Wijnaldum in the heart of midfield.
In August 2013, Tottenham Hotspur signed talented Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen from Ajax after breakout seasons at the Dutch side. He signed for Dutch giants at age 16 and caught the eye of several big clubs before making the move to White Hart Lane.
His arrival in North London was a key ingredient to what some consider as Tottenham’s golden years in recent history. During his time with Spurs, Eriksen logged 51 goals and 66 assists in 226 appearances from midfield, which culminated in Spurs reaching the final of the UEFA Champions League in the 2018-2019 season.
Eriksen became only the second player after David Beckham to tally 10+ assists in a season for four consecutive seasons and was key to ushering in Tottenham’s recent success. This makes his transfer to Premier League football a resounding success despite never having won a trophy at Tottenham.
Luis Suarez is arguably the best player to ever play for Liverpool not named Steven Gerrard. He moved to the EPL after a successful stint at Dutch giants Ajax, albeit in a less than desirable fashion than he would like. He scored a staggering 111 goals in 159 appearances for the Amsterdam based club but left the Eredivisie while he was suspended for the first biting incident of his career.
Liverpool decided to take a chance on the prolific Uruguayan and acquired his services from Ajax in January of 2011. At Merseyside, he continued his outstanding goalscoring form scoring a total of 69 goals in 110 appearances.
His 2013-14 season was the pinnacle of his Liverpool career when he was the 7th player in PL history to score 30 goals in a season and only second to Ian Rush in Liverpool’s history to do the feat. His performances bagged him numerous player of the year awards including becoming the first non-European to win the PFA Player of the year award.
However, just like the end of his career in the Netherlands, Suarez tainted his legacy in the Premier League with a few controversial incidents and ultimately led to him transferring to Barcelona to form the formidable MSN trio, alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Ruud van Nistelrooy
Rounding off our list of Eredivisie players to move to the EPL, Ruud van Nistelrooy was a prolific striker for Manchester United after his transfer to the Premier League from Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven in 2001. The Dutchman seemed to know exactly where the goal was in any given situation, a trait most desirable among strikers.
Van Nistelrooy scored a staggering 95 goals in only 150 appearances for the Red Devils, a scoring output that eventually led to Real Madrid obtaining his services. In his time in England, Van Nistelrooy’s trophy cabinet grew as he bagged a host of individual honours and team honours.
He won the Premier League Golden Boot award once in his 5 seasons at United, regularly competing with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry but won the UEFA Champions League Golden Boot an impressive three times. He also won the Premier League title, an English League Cup, and the English FA Cup in his stint in England.
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