After a two-year absence Excelsior are back in the Eredivisie, although Will Burns predicts it could be a short stay.
Promoted via the playoffs after finishing third last year in the Eerste Divisie, the Rotterdam side would have needed some vast investment to build a squad to survive the Dutch top flight. In addition they have lost last year’s top scorer Lars Veldwijk to Nottingham Forest. The investment and the top experienced signings have not happened, and thus Excelsior should find themselves in the bottom two and back down to the First Division.
On-loan signing Ninos Gouriye (ADO Den Haag) and Tom van Weert from Den Bosch aim to fill Veldwijk’s boots, however, replacing a striker that hit a 30-goal season last campaign, is not an easy task. A third striker Marko Maletic featured on loan at FC Oss last term, signs on a permanent deal after his contract with parent club Stuttgart ended.
Although, once again, Excelsior are a squad built with Eerste Divisie experience and not many former Eredivisie players in the team. One thing that Excelsior can look forward to is the Rotterdam derby with Feyenoord. However, with this squad I cannot see many things to look forward this season for Excelsior.
TRANSFERS INS AND OUT
IN: Bas Kuipers (Ajax), Daan Bovenberg (NEC Nijmegen), Daryl Miegham (Telstar), Marko Maletic (Stuttgart), Ninos Gouriye (ADO Den Haag), Tom van Weert (FC Den Bosch).
OUT: Boy de Jong (PEC Zwolle), Lars Veldwijk (Nottingham Forest).
MANAGER – MARINUS DIJKHUIZEN
Taking over from Jon Dahl Tomasson last season and winning promotion in his debut season, Dijkhuizen is a popular figure at the club. Although, like his squad the lack of experience may shine through and the relationship with the club and their fans may end before the season’s finished.
KEY PLAYER – JORDAN BOTAKA
Fast-paced Botaka is a 21-year-old with great talent that should cause some problems to full-backs this season. The winger was great for Excelsior last season, helping the side end the season well for a third-placed finish and providing 10 goals of his own and helping Veldwijk score eight of his.
PREDICTION – 17TH
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