PSV Eindhoven have reaped the rewards of the hard work they have put in over the last few years to win the Eredivisie for the first time since 2008. A combination of good recruitment, investment in youth development and placing faith in a young exciting coach have seen PSV rise to the top of the Dutch game. Everybody has played their part in the club’s successes, from the directors to the players, but the hard work starts now as they must build on this season. Clubs in the Eredivisie are always vulnerable to clubs from bigger leagues coming in to take their best players and PSV will be aware of this as they begin to look to next season as Jake Jackman discusses exclusively for Total Dutch Football.
Before this season started, many people were tipping PSV for success after a very productive summer, but Ajax were still favourites as they sought their fifth successive league title. However, PSV have ran away with the championship and as things currently stand, they are an incredible 14 points clear of Frank de Boer’s side.
They have been successful for a variety of reasons, with the main one being the attacking quality in the side as they have been far away the top scorers with 87 goals at the time of writing, which is 22 more than Ajax who have the second best attack. The combination play between the attacking trio of Georginio Wijnaldum, Memphis Depay and Luuk de Jong has been scintillating at times, when you also add in Adam Maher and Luciano Narsingh, it could be considered on the best attacks in Eredivisie history.
Championships are also won on the back of great defences, and although they have conceded more goals than Ajax, the PSV backline has been very good this season, conceding only 29 which is less than a goal per game. The loan signings of Karim Rekik and Andres Guardado have been central to that, with the latter signing on a permanent deal in recent days. Guardado has played in midfield for the majority of the season, but his role is to help the back four, which has added some stability to a side filled with attacking talent. Unfortunately for PSV, it is unlikely that Rekik will be back next season as he is set to return to fight for his place at Manchester City.
Another key part to their Eredivisie win has been the development of players who were already at the club. Both Jeffrey Bruma and Jetro Willems have started fulfilling the potential that has been talked about for years in Holland. They have been a key part of the club’s success and both could become regulars for Holland over the coming years. Meanwhile, Maher has been a player overlooked by some, but he has been brilliant this season. His play deeper on the pitch is pivotal in bringing the best out of Wijnaldum, with the two striking up a good connection this season.
PSV will be going into this summer feeling vulnerable as rumours start to circulate about Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum, who have been the standout players this season. The former built a reputation last summer at the World Cup, and PSV managed to keep him for another season, but it will be hard to retain him this summer with rumours regarding a move to England increasing every day. His direct style of play will suit the Premier League, with his pace and skill on the dribble and his quality in front of goal making him similar to Eden Hazard. Both Liverpool and Manchester United have been linked to the attacker who has 21 league goals this season and is on course to be the top scorer this season.
Meanwhile, Wijnaldum has been linked with Newcastle United this week and there will be a lot of other clubs across Europe looking at the talented playmaker. At the age of 24, Wijnaldum is developing into the top class midfielder that he has been tipped to become since breaking through at Feyenoord. He is starting to become a regular for the national side and his contribution of 13 goals and three assists is really good for a midfielder. Like Depay, he is very good when running with the ball, while he is also very creative with through balls being one of his strengths. A lot of PSV attacks this season have been created by a Wijnaldum through ball to either Depay or Narsingh. He has been one of the best players in the league this season and it might be time to test himself in another league as he has the potential to become a world class midfielder.
Like Feyenoord last summer, PSV could lose a significant number of their side to foreign clubs. Depay and Rekik are almost certainly not going to be at the club next season, while there will be interest in the likes of Wijnaldum, De Jong, Willems, Jeroen Zoet, Maher, Bruma and Narsingh, all of whom have been regulars in the PSV side. It’s difficult not to admire the work done by the PSV directors and Phillip Cocu as they have brought in and developed a lot of young talent into champions of the Eredivisie. However their success could be the reason for their demise as clubs come in for their best talent. They will get a significant amount of money for them, but they will have to rebuild again after creating one of the most exciting sides in the club’s history.
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