FEATURE: PSV to finally strengthen their defence?

With another season over and yet another season without trophies, PSV have gotten a lot of criticism lately. They spent loads of money on new players (mostly midfielders and attackers) over the last few seasons, which made them big favourites at the start of the season. Having scored an astonishing 103 goals in 34 matches, the attacking strikeforce seems very good, but due to 43 goals conceded, they eventually lost the title to Ajax, who claimed their third consecutive title. Fans have voiced their concerns about the transfer policy of the club. PSV should invest more in their leaky defense and give youth more chance in their opinion.

So, after head coach Advocaat announced that he would leave the club at the end of the season, PSV promoted assistant manager Phillip Cocu to the head coach role. In the presentation of their long-term plans, Cocu and Brands mentioned both investing in defense and youth as the new priorities for next season.

Over the last weeks, many articles about possible transfer targets for PSV popped up in Dutch media, with most of them confirmed by PSV staff. We made a list of potential signings and also included a list of players that will or might leave the club during the next transfer window.

Leaving – Mark van Bommel retired this weekend

Outgoing

Boy Waterman: Has been PSV’s first choice goalkeeper for most of the season, but was criticised by many fans. Contract expires this summer and according to VI, Cocu wants to let him go in order to give youth goalkeepers Jeroen Zoet and Nigel Bertrams a chance to compete with Tyton.

Wilfred Bouma: Senior defender in his second term for PSV. Played a few matches last year but was considered to slow for PSV’s defence. Today, new head coach Cocu has told Bouma that there will be no space for him in next year’s squad, so Bouma will have to make place when his contract expires this summer.

Marcelo: If anything has been made clear this season once more, it is the fact that PSV’s defence was once more incapable of making a strong impression. Among fans, Marcelo is the main victim of criticism. Made some fatal mistakes. Thijs Slegers, Voetbal International’s PSV watcher, announced a few days ago that Bundesliga side Werder Bremen appear to be interested in buying the 25-year old Brazilian defender. No formal approach has come in though, according to PSV technical director Marcel Brands.

Stanislav Manolev: Was loaned out to Fulham in January, and has told Dutch media that he is hoping for Fulham to activate the buyout clause in his contract.

Atiba Hutchinson: Player with the most appearances for PSV this season. Naturally a central midfielder, but switched to right back after Stanislav Manolev went on loan to Fulham in January. Earlier (in December 2012), 30-year old Hutchinson announced that he would not renew his expiring contract in order to be able to have one last adventure.

Orlando Engelaar: PSV already tried to get rid of him at the beginning of this season. Very expensive player wage-wise and mostly benched or in the reserves. His contract expires this seasons and PSV have announced not to renew his deal.

Mark van Bommel: Played a key role in PSV’s season. The 36-year old legend returned at the beginning of the season to play for PSV one last time. Despite recent attempts by PSV fans to get him to stay he announced his retirement at the end of the season.

Kevin Strootman: This 23-year old midfielder has once more had a very strong season alongside Van Bommel. With his performance, loads of clubs, including Manchester United, are interested in aquiring the services of the Dutchman.

Jeremain Lens: Had a good season as he scored 15 and gave 10 assists, but has been very open about his ambitions. He has already expressed his desire to play in the Bundesliga or Premier League several times.

Incoming

Jeroen Zoet (RKC Waalwijk): This young goalkeeper will return from two seasons on loan at RKC and is looking to compete for first goalkeeper with Tyton, after having had a good season in Waalwijk.

Mike van der Hoorn (FC Utrecht): 20-year old defender who has impressed this season for his current club FC Utrecht, with his team conceding 41 goals (less than PSV!). According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, PSV technical director Marcel Brands has already approached Mike informally if he would be interested in joining PSV.

Virgil van Dijk (FC Groningen): Another defender who has played a very solid season for his club, leading to interest from clubs in- and outside of the Netherlands. Marcel Brands was spotted in Groningen on the last day of the season as Groningen lost 0-2 to Ajax to check out the young defender.

Santiago Arias (Sporting Lisbon): Highly-rated young right-back from Sporting Lisbon. Has been a transfer target this whole season, but with both Manolev and Hutchinson expected to leave, a right back is now top priority.

Karim Rekik (Manchester City, loan): Dutch central defender currently playing for Manchester City. Played only one match for City this season, and isn’t expected to play much next season either. As reported by Thijs Slegers (Voetbal International), PSV might try to bring him to Eindhoven on a temporary deal.

Luis Felipe Ramos (Ituano): This young (16-year old!) Brazilian defender is currently on trial with PSV. If he turns out to be good enough for PSV, he can be brought in instantly as he appears to be able to get a European passport.

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JoostMulders

Click on Joost’s name above to follow him on Twitter and also visit his blog at FM Holland.

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http://TotalDutch.wordpress.com

http://www.WorldFootballWeekly.com

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