The Eredivisie season restarts after the winter break on Friday night, so as a preview, we have decided to rundown the stars of the division so far this season.
Here’s Will Burns with the next five…
Once nicknamed ‘the Dutch Xavi’, Jordy Clasie is once again having a great season for Feyenoord. The tough tackling 22-year-old defensive midfielder is as useful defending his box, as well as attacking the oppositions. This season, Clasie has seen his role sitting a lot deeper and more restricted than other seasons, but still as effective.
Clasie has appeared in all but one game for Feyenoord this term, and created five goals but his strong point has been his interceptions and tackling. Averaging 3.1 successful tackles per game, the stats suggest that the midfielder has helped Feyenoord concede just 24 goals in 18 games in the Eredivisie this season.
As another season passes, another round of transfer rumours involving Clasie are sure to circle around, but he has no plans to move. Clasie was quoted stating “I’m not going to judge the guys who left, they had their reasons.
“I can only speak for myself and I’ve always thought it best to complete your football education where you’re the most comfortable – and Feyenoord is my place. Ever since I was a kid my aim was to become a professional here, to regularly play in front of full-houses at De Kuip. That dream has now come true, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the story.
“I want to make a name for myself at Feyenoord, help the club win things again. I’m under contract until 2015, so any move abroad is much further down the line as far I’m concerned.”
One of the hottest properties in Europe, Depay has become a key player for the very young and struggling PSV side this season, starting 17 league games and every European game on the left wing.
Oranje coach Louis van Gaal has recognised his talents and this season has saw the 19-year-old break onto the international scene winning three caps, and looks to have an outside chance of heading to Brazil in the Netherlands 23-man squad.
PSV need to pick up points and quick, Phillip Cocu’s side currently are 11 points adrift from leaders Ajax and Vitesse. With six goals and four assists, if his team-mates can follow his form they may move up the league instead of lingering into seventh, as they are right now.
The Icelandic goal-machine, Finnbogason has netted an incredible 17 goals in 15 appearances in a tremendous five months for the striker. A lethal finisher that he earned many admirers since moving from Lokeren in Belgium in August 2012, and in another amazing goalscoring stat, scored 41 in 48 total games for Heerenveen.
Under Marco van Basten this season, the Frisian club are currently located in fifth place in the Eredivisie standings and Finnbogason has to take the majority of the plaudits. His finishing has been irresistible, scoring his 17 goals out 69 total shots with a massive 79% on target.
It is no surprise that Finnbogason is a wanted man across the European big leagues, with his magnificent goalscoring record a move will be in the future for the Icelander. Although, it will possibly have to wait until the summer as Finnbogason has stated he will not make any decisions on furthering his career abroad until this season is complete.
The Dutch central defender, that also finds himself at home in the holding role of the midfield, has been a revelation for the high-flying Vitesse Arnhem the past five months. While the goals have been banged in by Lucas Piazon, Peter Bosz can thank Van der Heijden at the other end with a huge 89 clearances in 17 games (an average of 5.2 per game).
Do not think because Bosz has selected Van der Heijden at the heart of defence all season, that those clearance stats suggest that the former Ajax youth player likes to boot the ball up the field. His short, simple accurate passing out of the defence, keeping the possession, provides even greater statistics. The ball-playing central defender that has an amazing 91.5% success rate, a total of 1166 passes have met his team-mates over his 17 appearances.
Due to his great footballing brain and concentration, Van der Heijden rarely makes a mistake and is a key cog in the Vitesse wheel, especially if they are to clinch their inaugural Eredivisie championship.
Even though Roda linger just above the relegation places, right-winger Hupperts, has become the ‘diamond in the rough’ this season. The 21-year-old has really shined, finding goals against top-half sides, FC Twente and Heerenveen.
In October, Hupperts led the struggling Kerkrade side to a great 2-1 win over PSV. Bombing down the right-wing, Hupperts gave PSV full-back Jetro Willems a torrid time and while standing at 6ft tall, also winning aerial duels over the Oranje international.
These impressive showings will see possible see Hupperts move at the end of the season, with Ajax being strongly linked with the player.
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