The Eredivisie season restarts after the winter break this 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 final five…
The 26-year-old stopper has had a breakthrough season at Utrecht under Jan Wouters, highlighted by his David Seaman-like ability, by saving three penalties already in five months.
Currently averaging 5.2 saves per game, the second highest in the entire league, Ruiter joined Utrecht as a replacement for Michel Vorm in July 2012, who left for Swansea.
His colleagues have not had a successful season at the other end of the pitch, only scoring 26 goals in 18 games, which has left Utrecht sitting in ninth.
Tadić is a tremendously talent left-footed winger, who joined Twente in the summer from FC Groningen. At 25 years old, the Serbian is in the prime of his career and the states this season are showing this to be the case.
Starting all but one game this term from the third place side in the league, Tadić has made seven and scored seven goals, linking fantastically well with colleagues Quincy Promes and Luc Castaignos.
His playmaking skills light a fire under the Enschede side, and so far he has completed a total of 831 including averaging 4.1 key passes per game.
Joel Veltman was a relatively unknown until this term, and Frank de Boer had no quarms about throwing the 22-year-old in at the deep end. The 6ft 2inch central defender has not disappointed replacing Niclas Moisander after he fell to injury, and also Toby Alderweireld after Ajax cashed in on the Belgian international in the summer.
Starting the season, in the Jupiler League with the Jong Ajax, Veltman has only made nine appearances in the Eredivisie this term, but his partnership with fellow inexperienced Stefano Denswil has been more than successful. Inside the nine appearances, Ajax have only conceded four goals.
Jetro Willems is a 19-year-old left-back with many admirers, and his performances this season has proved that he is on the way to becoming one of the very best. Although, Willems has been hampered with injuries, he has fought past these adversities and became a stronger player.
Linking up well down the left with Memphis Depay, the defender has notched twice from 15 shots on goal and a solitary assist from 21 chances he has created.
It is going to be a real dogfight between Willems and Ajax’s Daley Blind on who will hold that starting left-back spot for the Oranje in Brazil this summer.
If you are not a newcomer to the Eredivisie, you will be wondering where this guy has come from? Hakim Ziyech, another young talent at only 20, has been a real find for Heerenveen this campaign.
Inside Marco van Basten’s more conservative 4-3-3 this season, Ziyech has taken over from last season’s playmaking star Filip Djurcic, who left in the summer for Benfica. Ziyech has starred in every game this term, including 16 starts creating seven goals for others (usually Finnbogason), while he has notched six himself.
Even at just such a young age, his tactical restraint, positional awareness, high tempo energy, quick fire decision-making and technical ability has rightfully been praised by the Dutch media. His temperament is also a testimony to his personality and at this early stage in his career, you can see Ziyech is going to be a star of the future.
Click the name above to follow Will on Twitter.