Tag Archives: Davy Klaassen

Davy shows Schalke that his Klaas is permanent





A double from Ajax skipper, Davy Klaassen put the four-time European champions in pole position to make the semi-final of a European competition for the first time in 20 years following their 2-0 victory over a lacklustre Schalke 04 in the first leg of their quarter-final tie at the Amsterdam ArenA on Thursday evening.

Image result for ajax 2-0 schalke

Despite the inclusion of Donny van de Beek at the expense of the injured Lasse Schone meaning that the home side’s starting line-up had an average age of just 23, Peter Bosz’s men – who came into this quarter final tie having won nineteen of their last twenty home games in all competitions, scarcely missed a beat in what was, ultimately, one of the best performances from an Ajax side on the European stage in many years.

Following a tentative opening, the game sprang to life in the 12th minute when Daniel Caligiuri’s headed clearance from a Klaassen cross from the left only found its way to van de Beek whose volley from just outside the area was gathered by Schalke ‘keeper, Ralf Fahrmann at the second attempt.

The hosts continued to ramp up the pressure thereafter and were given the opportunity to take the lead just ten minutes later when Hakim Ziyech set a break in motion with a well weighted diagonal which found Amin Younes with time and space on the left to cut inside Thilo Kehrer – whom he would give a torrid evening, before being tripped by Alessandro Schopf inside the visitor’s area leaving Russian official, Sergey Karasev little option but to point to the spot from which Dutch international, Klaassen made no mistake – sending Fahrmann the wrong way to put the hosts into the ascendancy in the 23rd minute.

The home side – who won this competition under its previous guise as the UEFA Cup in 1992, could have doubled their advantage just after the half hour mark but instead saw Matija Nastasic’s attempted clearance rattle Fahrmann’s crossbar after the centre half had been forced to scramble under the attentions of Davinson Sanchez who had remained in the box after a Ziyech corner from the left had only been partially cleared by the Schalke rear guard before being put back into the mixer from the opposite flank by van de Beek.

Having gone in at the break a goal-to-the-good, the home side re-emerged for the second half in determined mood and deservedly doubled their advantage seven minutes after the restart – Chelsea loanee, Bertrand Traore picking out Justin Kluivert with a measured diagonal ball from just inside the opposition’s half before the 17-year-old then cut in from the right and beat Caligiuri to tee up Klaassen with a nice square ball that found Ajax’s influential skipper with time and space on the edge of the box to half volley the home side’s second of the evening past an exposed Fahrmann in the Schalke net.

From that moment on the chances came thick and fast as Schalke – who came into the tie having posted just three wins in their last thirteen outings in all competitions, were overrun in all areas of the field by their rampant hosts.

Just two minutes later it could have been three when Traore drew a smart save from Fahrmann having been fed by Younes after the diminutive German had intercepted an errant ball from Dennis Aogo on half way before the former Borussia Monchengladbach man then drew a save of his own from Fahrmann three minutes later following a period of concerted pressure before Traore again went close – drawing another stop from Fahrmann a minute later as the hosts threatened to run riot with their visitors seemingly on the ropes.

In the end, Fahrmann proved to be the difference between remaining in the tie and being left a mountain to climb in the return leg in Gelsenkirchen for Markus Weinzierl’s beleaguered troops – the goalkeeper coming to his side’s aid twice in quick succession 23 minutes from time by first denying compatriot, Younes after the 23-year-old had been slipped in by Traore before the Burkinabé forward was then also repelled by the reflexes of Fahrmann – whose back-line melted away before his very eyes, as the man on loan from Stamford Bridge cut between the ineffectual challenges of both Kehrer and Nastasic before getting his shot away.

There was a brief reprieve for the visitors when the stadium rose-as-one to give former Ajax marksman, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar a heroes’ reception when the Dutch international was introduced to proceedings – replacing Schopf, nineteen minutes from time.

The onslaught continued thereafter – the home side going even closer to adding a third fourteen minutes from the end when, having turned a Younes effort around his near post, Fahrmann then had his crossbar rattled for a second time as van de Beek went close from the edge of the area from Ziyech’s resultant corner.

Peter Bosz will hope his side don’t live to regret the plethora of chances they squandered during a dominant second half performance, the last of which fell to Nick Viergever – Fahrmann once more on his toes to deny a point blank header from the Ajax left back after the 27-year-old evaded his marker to connect with another Ziyech corner from the left eleven minutes from time.

Image result for ajax 2-0 schalke

Despite putting in a woeful performance, Schalke – currently languishing in a disappointing tenth position in the Bundesliga standings, who themselves tasted success in this competition twenty years ago, managed to weather the home side’s attacking storm and despite creating nothing of note did give themselves a chance of turning the tie around in the 2nd leg at the Veltins Arena next Thursday evening by escaping with just a two-goal deficit to overcome in front of their own supporters.

Man of the Match: Amin Younes


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Eredivisie Team Of The Week – Round 4


Here is round four of our Eredivisie Team of the Week which leads into our 2016/17 Eredivisie ‘Player of the Season’ competition. All players have performed so well this weekend that Will Burns has selected them in the team of the week.  Each player in the eleven receives one point and whichever player is declared ‘Player of the Week’, he receives an extra point.



MICKEY VAN DER HART – PEC ZWOLLE: If Zwolle did not have the former Ajax youth keeper in goal on Saturday evening, the 1-0 loss to Heerenveen could have been a lot, lot worse.


RICK KARSDORP – FEYENOORD: Excellent performance by the 21-year-old in the Rotterdam derby against Excelsior.

HECTOR MORENO – PSV: He makes our team of the week for the second week in a row. The Mexican was again a leader at the back and a threat up top.

ROBIN GOSENS – HERACLES: An first goal for the club, strong in defence with a 100% passing succession rate vs. ADO in a 1-1 draw.

RIDGECIANO HAPS – AZ ALKMAAR: Second week in a row that Haps has been selected in our TOTW. A great performance with a clean sheet in the 2-0 win over NEC.


HAKIM ZIYECH – FC TWENTE: Linked with a move away from Enschede and he notched two goals in possibly his last game in the Twente shirt.

DAVY KLAASSEN – AJAX: Davy lands our Player of the Week award leading Ajax to a much needed win over Go Ahead with two goals.

NEMANJA GUDELJ – AJAX: Scorer of a wonderful free-kick in the 3-0 away victory against Go Ahead.


STEVEN BERGHUIS – FEYENOORD: A commanding performance with an assist in the 4-1 win over Excelsior on his first start for Feyenoord.

DIRK KUYT – FEYENOORD: Notched a brace in the four goal turnaround against Excelsior.

FRED FRIDAY – AZ ALKMAAR: The Nigerian striker would have bagged his first goal this weekend but was ruled offside. Despite that, he played an important part in the 2-0 victory over NEC.

Click here to see the ‘Player of the Season’ standings.


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Russians frustrate Ajax Euro ambitions

Another strike by inspirational skipper, Davy Klaassen wasn’t quite enough for Ajax who endured another night of frustration in European club competition as Russian under dogs, Rostov moved into the second leg their UEFA Champions League Playoff with the Dutch giants holding a slight advantage off the back of an early away goal by Ecuadorian international, Christian Noboa reports Steven Davies.




Following the disappointment of dropping two points in the dying moments of Saturday’s visit of Roda, Ajax coach, Peter Bosz shuffled his pack ahead of the visit the Russian outfit – giving Chelsea loanee, Bertrand Traore his first start for de Godenzonen while also drafting in German wide man, Amin Younes along with Dutch international, Joel Veltman with Saturday’s two-goal hero, Kasper Dolberg, Kenny Tete and Daley Sinkgraven making way.

In spite of having four European Cup triumphs to their name, Ajax came into the tie in the unusual position of having never managed to best Russian opposition in any European club competition and, in spite of having the majority of the ball throughout the contest, the Amsterdammers found chances hard to come by with the Rostov back five keeping time and space for the attacking trio of El Ghazi, Traore and Younes to a minimum.

Despite their surprising victory over Anderlecht two weeks ago having secured some form of European group stage football for the first time in the club’s history and having finished as runners up in last season’s RFPL standings, Rostov came into the tie at the Amsterdam ArenA in chequered form with just four points from their opening three league games. The visitors also arrived in the Netherlands in the midst of a period of transition under the caretaker charge of former Rostov and Russian international striker, Dmitri Kirichenko – who took up the coaching reins following the departure of the Spartak Moscow-bound, Kurban Berdyev.

However, it was the Russians who, against the run of play, took the lead with their first meaningful attempt on goal through a Christian Noboa free kick from just outside the area – the curling effort wrong-footing Ajax ‘keeper, Jasper Cillessen.

As the half wore on, Ajax’s wide men gradually found more space in which to work and Anwar El Ghazi in particular carved out a number of tantalising crosses that his colleagues were frustratingly unable to capitalise upon – the Dutchman continuously terrorising Rostov’s left wing-back, Denis Terentjev throughout the match.

Yet it took until the half hour mark for Ajax’s first real clean cut opportunity to materialise – Burkina Faso international, Traore having slipped free of the shackles of his marker, dropped the shoulder and burned two defenders before seeing his shot saved by Soslan Dzhanaev’s legs – Rostov’s star man also parrying the follow up from Younes just seconds later.

Then, with 37 minutes having elapsed and the home side in firm control, Younes squared the ball across the area for Bazoer whose shot was handled by Rostov centre half, Cesar Navas, leaving the referee little option but to point to the spot – Davy Klaassen, the hero of Thessaloniki, converting the spot kick with little fuss for his fourth goal of the season in all competitions.

Having notched 14 efforts on goal in the first half alone, the home side began the second stanza where they had ended the first – on the front foot with Traore forcing Dzhanaev into a spectacular point blank save from a header after latching on to another dangerous El Ghazi cross on 54 minutes, while Nemanja Gudelj also worked the Rostov glovesman with a long range effort which Dzhanaev did well to tip over the bar in the 68th minute.

Yet, the home side found their Russian counterparts in resolute mood with chances few and far between in the second period despite the home side monopolizing over 70% of the ball throughout the course of the encounter, leaving Ajax coach, Peter Bosz with more questions than answers ahead of next week’s second leg in Rostov-on-Don.

Man of the Match: Anwar El Ghazi



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Davy’s double helps Ajax prevail and clinch playoff place

A double from Ajax captain, Davy Klaassen saw Ajax squeeze past PAOK and into the next round of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League – beating the Greek side 2-1 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate reports Steven Davies.





(Ajax wins 3-2 on aggregate)

Playing an, at times, awkward 3-5-2 formation, Ajax found themselves with a proverbial mountain to climb after only four minutes when Stefanos Athanasiadis lost Heiko Westermann on the back post and beat Jasper Cillessen to put the Greek side ahead both on the night and in the tie overall following a 1-1 draw between the two sides in Amsterdam just over a week ago.


Faced with both the inhospitable temperatures in Thessaloniki and hostile atmosphere inside the Stadio Toumbas, the Ajax back three just could not come to grips with the illusive Athanasiadis who was denied by Cillessen on several occasions including a fantastic point black stop and a one-on-one between the two which the PAOK goal-scorer failed to convert inside the opening half hour.

Ajax built up a healthy advantage in terms of possession as the half wore on but could not convert their possession into clear cut chances while PAOK’s swift counter attacking through the evasive Garry Rodrigues found the Ajax backline turned inside out on more than one occasion with only Dutch international, Cillessen’s reflexes keeping the Amsterdam giants in the tie.

Ajax’s first real opportunity arrived at the feet of Cassierra after some deft control from a Dijks cross from the left found the new signing with the goal at his mercy – yet a stumble from the Colombian allowed PAOK ‘keeper, Glykos to recover.

It appeared that the tie was slipping away from the four-time European Cup winners until Viergever was brought down by Croatian defender, Marin Leovac in the PAOK box following an Ajax free kick from the right as the clock ticked into added time at the end of the first half.

Davy Klaassen duly dispatched the resultant spot kick to claw Peter Bosz and his men somewhat undeservedly back into the tie and in the process nullify the away goal the Greeks had bagged in Amsterdam.

A largely uneventful second stanza saw a slew of yellow cards and few opportunities – the majority of which fell to the home side.

A Tzavellas free kick on 53 minutes tested Cillessen’s reflexes and a looping header from PAOK substitute, Mystakidis rattled the Ajax’s keeper’s crossbar as the game entered the final quarter hour.

Yet, try as they might, the Greeks found de Godenzonen in resilient mood and, with the away side’s only opportunity of the half, a cross from the left found substitute Anwar El Ghazi whose cushioned header fell perfectly for Ajax skipper, Klaassen who duly drilled home to put the Amsterdammers ahead for the first time in the tie – the Dutch international’s strike ultimately proving enough to put the European giants into the next round of UEFA Champions League qualifying.

Man of the Match: Jasper Cillessen


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Eredivisie Team Of The Week – Round 4


Welcome to week four of our Eredivisie Team of the Week which leads into our Eredivisie ‘Player of the Season’ competition.  All players have performed so well this weekend that Martijn Hilhorst and Will Burns have decided they should be in our team of the week.  Each player in the eleven receives one point and whichever player is declared ‘Player of the Week’, he receives an extra point.



JEROEN ZOET – PSV: Another commanding performance from arguably the best keeper in the league right now.


SANTIAGO ARIAS – PSV: Solid performance defending for PSV keeping Dirk Kuyt at bay and a great attacking display that resulted in a good goal.

TIMO LETSCHERT – FC UTRECHT: The Utrecht man seems to realising his potential. Letschert was indispensable at the back in Utrecht’s 2-0 win over FC Groningen.

SANDER FISCHER – EXCELSIOR:  Sander is always a real handful to strikers but against De Graafschap he halted everything fired in his way.

GURAM KASHIA – VITESSE: The big Georgian notched a goal to cap off an excellent show that kept Bart Ogbeche out of trouble.


DAVY KLAASSEN – AJAX: The man-of-the-match in Ajax’s 4-0 thumping of ADO Den Haag. The Amsterdam captain provided a goal and two assists which makes him our PLAYER OF THE WEEK.

DAVY PRÖPPER – PSV: A wonderful assist and winner of a dubious penalty in the big clash against Feyenoord. Looks to be finding his feet in Eindhoven.

ILIASS BEL HASSANI – HERACLES: Bel Hassani snatched the limelight back from last week’s star Oussama Tannane in Almelo. Lead the way scoring the opening goal as Heracles heaped more misery on Twente fans in the 2-0 victory over the Enschede side.


ANWAR EL GHAZI – AJAX: The Eredivisie top scorer notched another two goals and also provided an assist for Klaassen.

LUUK DE JONG – PSV: The big striker won the majority of his aerial duels against Eric Botteghin and Jan-Arie van der Heijden and continuously held the ball up in the Eindhoven side’s 3-1 win over Feyenoord.

MAXIME LESTIENNE – PSV: A goal and the completely bossing of Sven van Beek that resulted in some good crosses in PSV’s 3-1 win over Feyenoord. Could have more than the one goal.

Click here to see the ‘Player of the Season’ standings.


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Eredivisie Team Of The Week – Round 7


Welcome to week seven of our Eredivisie Team of the Week which leads into our Eredivisie ‘Player of the Season’ competition.  All players have performed so well this weekend that Martijn Hilhorst and Will Burns have decided they should be in our team of the week.  Each player in the eleven receives one point and whichever player is declared ‘Player of the Week’, he receives an extra point.



GINO COUTINHO (Excelsior) 




JOEY VAN DEN BERG (Heerenveen)







ELVIS MANU (Feyenoord)


KOLBEINN SIGTHORSSON (Ajax) – Player of the Week

Click here to see the ‘Player of the Season’ standings.


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A comfortable win for Ajax after controlling the game for most of the 90 minutes, save for a short spell during which AZ scored. AZ lacked the cutting edge that Aron Jóhannsson surely would have provided and could only manage three shots on target while Ajax were comfortable and assured in possession writes Ryan O’Grady.

PSV’s large margin of victory yesterday meant that only by winning by a few themselves could either team go top. AZ’s manager and former Ajax player and legend Marco Van Basten was hoping to beat his former side for the first time ever in his managerial career.  He named an unchanged side from the win away at Heracles while Frank de Boer brought in two of the Netherland’s World Cup stars, Jasper Cillessen and Daley Blind, for their first game of the Eredivisie season. Ajax were coming off the back of a slightly unconvincing 4-1 win against Vitesse Arnhem on opening weekend.

Ajax were very comfortable in the first half with more of the possession and they had the better chances. AZ lacked a presence upfront with Tankovic, who to be fair is not an out and out striker but with Aron Jóhannsson still out with injury there was really no other option for Van Basten.

The game started off quite slowly with Ajax’s Ricardo Kishna having the best early chance after being put through by a wonderful ball from Blind but AZ keeper Alvarado stood tall and saved it easily. AZ had a couple of shots on target in the first half and one of those came in the 10th minute when Ajax defender Ligeon dallied on the ball and was dispossessed by Hupperts on the edge of the box and the ball eventually came back to Hupperts who had a shot well saved by Cillessen.

Then in the 15th minute a lovely bit of play from the Ajax players was rounded off by a through ball from Schöne which took out three defenders and was picked up by Davy Klaassen inside the corner of the box before a lovely low finish into the near side corner of the net.

The response from AZ came six minutes later when they had a free kick near the touchline crossed in by Berghuis and Tankovic had a free header in the box that he put just wide. This was followed by a quite spell of around ten minutes and that was ended when Sigthorsson received the ball outside the box and spun his defender but lost his balance allowing Alvarado to collect easily.

Four minutes later, Sigthorsson was lucky not to be sent off after losing control of the ball before lunging into a tackle on Poulsen who thankfully managed to lift his foot before contact was made, Sigthorsson escaped with a yellow. The rest of the half only contained a few half chances the best of which fell to Berghuis when he had a header across goal that was easily saved by Cillessen.

During the break, Frank de Boer brought off Ricardo Kishna for Anwar El Ghazi presumably because of an injury to Kishna as he didn’t play badly in the first half. This worked out well in the end, as El Ghazi was one of the best players in the second half.  The break also constituted a change of tactics from Marco Van Basten and his side who pressed noticeably higher up the pitch after the interval and this paid off almost immediately.

First Hupperts brought down a ball beautifully in the box before releasing a weak shot that went wide of the post, then from the subsequent goal kick the ball was given to Ajax defender Nick Viergever who immediately gave it to Guus Hupperts and he sent a ball across the box which was missed by Henriksen before being followed up by Steven Berghuis who supplied an almost identical finish to Klaassen’s earlier goal.

This opened up the game and there were frequent chances at either end for both sides including a great chance for substitute El Ghazi who beat two defenders inside the box before wasting a clear shot on goal by playing a ball across the six-yard box that was easily cleared.

Then in the 69th minute there was a comical moment when Schöne appeared to take the ball over the line at the side of the box and both Schöne and the AZ defender just looked at the ball before realising it was still in, Schöne reacted quickest and beat a couple of defenders before sending a lovely curled effort in from the edge of the ‘d’ into the bottom right corner.

Following the goal there was a period of Ajax pressure to try and put the team 3-1 up and out of AZ’s reach. The best chance in this period came when both Sigthorsson and Wuytens went for the ball near the halfway line but the AZ defender was half-hearted in his attempt allowing Sigthorsson to race clear but he took to long to get his shot off in the box that Poulsen was able to cover and put the Ajax striker off causing Sigthorsson to fall over with what appeared to be a wry smile as he appealed for a penalty which was never going to be given.

Wuytens was then booked shortly after as he blocked off El Ghazi from racing clear. The pressure continued in the 78th minute when the ball broke to Sigthorsson on the edge of the box but he yet again wasted what should’ve been an easy goal for someone of his standard. Schöne then had a chance in the 83rd minute when El Ghazi broke into the box before playing it across to Schöne who had a try from a tight angle blocked by Poulsen for a corner.

The resulting corner was delivered into the box and Sigthorsson rose to meet it only for it to ricochet off the post and fall to the feet of Viergever who had a shot saved by the keeper.

The win was rounded off in the 89th minute when the impressive El Ghazi scored his first ever senior goal with a lovely effort from a similar position to Schöne’s goal but this time the ball went into the top left corner leaving the keeper rooted to the spot. The game ended in bad taste after a foul on El Ghazi in the 92nd minute led to a coming together of most of the 22 players on the field but referee Kevin Blom managed to regain control of the situation before booking Hupperts, Gouweleeuw and Moisander.


AZ: Esteban, Johansson (Elm 77), Gouweleeuw, Wuytens, Poulsen, Gudelj, Henriksen, Ortiz, Berghuis, Tankovic (Rosheuvel 84), Hupperts.

SUBS NOT USED: Rochet, Luckassen, Hoedt, Haps, Haye.

GOALS: Berghuis 50.

BOOKINGS: Wuytens 75, Hupperts 90+3, Gouweleeuw 90+4.

AJAX: Cillessen, Ligeon, Van der Hoorn, Moisander, Boilesen, Klaassen, Viergever, Blind (Serero 77), Schöne (El Ghazi 46), Sigthórsson, Kishna.

SUBS NOT USED: Vermeer, Tete, Riedewald, Andersen, Milik.

GOALS: Klaassen 15, Schöne 69, El Ghazi 90.

BOOKINGS: Sigthorsson 37, Moisander 90+4.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Lasse Schöne (Ajax)


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In a 33 man squad, RVP & Huntelaar return for France clash


Oranje coach Louis van Gaal has named a huge 33-man provisional squad for the Netherlands’ friendly match with France on March 5th in Paris. The friendly with France is the first of four warm-up games for the Dutch ahead of this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

Dutch captain Robin van Persie returns after having missed his country’s last two friendlies through injury.

Also recalled is Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who has only recently made his comeback after a knee injury. The 30-year-old striker had spent five months on the sidelines but has scored two goals in four league appearances for the Bundesliga side since returning to action after the winter break.

Van Gaal has also announced six players to his squad who could win their first cap including dangerous winger Jean-Paul Boëtius, who has been in great form over the past few months for Feyenoord and could receive his first cap in Paris. Other possible debutants in the squad include PSV pair Karim Rekik and goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet, FC Twente’s Quincy Promes, Vitesse’s Davy Pröpper and Ajax’s Davy Klaassen.


GOALKEEPERS: Jasper CILLESSEN (Ajax), Tim KRUL (Newcastle United), Maarten STEKELENBURG (Fulham), Kenneth VERMEER (Ajax), Michel VORM (Swansea City), Jeroen ZOET (PSV).

DEFENDERS: Daley BLIND (Ajax), Jeffrey BRUMA (PSV), Stefan DE VRIJ (Feyenoord), Bruno MARTINS INDI (Feyenoord), Daryl JANMAAT (Feyenoord), Karim REKIK (PSV), Gregory VAN DER WIEL (Paris Saint-Germain), Joel VELTMAN (Ajax), Paul VERHAEGH (FC Augsburg), Ron VLAAR (Aston Villa).

MIDFIELDERS: Jordy CLASIE (Feyenoord), Nigel DE JONG (AC Milan), Siem DE JONG (Ajax), Leroy FER (Norwich City), Davy KLAASSEN (Ajax), Davy PROPPER (Vitesse), Stijn SCHAARS (PSV), Wesley SNEIJDER (Galatasaray), Kevin STROOTMAN (AS Roma).

FORWARDS: Jean-Paul BOETIUS (Feyenoord), Memphis DEPAY (PSV), Klaas-Jan HUNTELAAR (Schalke), Dirk KUYT (Fenerbahçe), Luciano NARSINGH (PSV), Quincy PROMES (FC Twente), Arjen ROBBEN (Bayern Munich), Robin VAN PERSIE (Manchester United).


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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…

AZ Alkmaar - Mattias Johansson

The attacking right-back, is also slowly making a name for himself in a AZ side that have failed to challenge at the top this season.

Starting every game this term, the Swedish international loves to bomb down the right wing, where he has notched three goals. One has to think how long AZ can keep the defender, his displays of dribbling and defeating an opposition full-back with ease, must have some clubs in the Europe’s top divisions scouting him.

In the Europa League, the Swede has started five games, where AZ are yet to taste defeat.  He is vital to the Alkmaar side if they are to climb the league and qualify for European football again.

Ajax - Davy Klaassen

Twenty-year-old Klaassen was an observer for most of last season due to a persistent groin injury, this season, fit and raring to go; the attacking midfielder has been unleashed by manager Frank de Boer, with devastating consequences for the opposition.

Klaassen has made 10 appearances for the Amsterdammers this season, Ajax are undefeated in all ten, along with three Champions League games, where Ajax are undefeated in all three, including a great 2-1 win over La Liga giants Barcelona.

With seven goals in 10 appearances, including an impressive hat-trick against NAC Breda, it is no wonder that Arsenal have been linked with the player. After losing Christian Eriksen to Spurs in the summer, fans and media alike may have been thinking where De Boer would find a replacement – of course, Frank found the man for the job in De Toekomst academy.

PEC Zwolle - Darryl Lachman

Zwolle made a tremendous start to the season, even topping the Eredivisie for three weeks. Manager Ron Jans can be thankful in part to his 6ft 2inch central defender, Darryl Lachman. At over 6ft, Lachman is not strong in the departments you would presume. Strong on the ground, but in the air he fails to deceive.

For a centre-back, the 24-year-old loves to maraud forward, dribbling with confidence and dishing the ball out to the midfield to start attacks. Defensively, his concentration and decision making has helped Zwolle to concede only 18 times in the 16 games Lachman has started.

Feyenoord - Joris Mathijsen

Even at 33 years old, Feyenoord are getting their money’s worth from Joris Mathijsen. The veteran central defender has appeared in 11 games this season averaging 4.8 clearances per match, a total of 58.

Leading from the back, with his help, Ronald Koeman’s men are on a four game winning streak before heading to Utrecht this Sunday afternoon.

Feyenoord - Lex Immers

When Jordy Clasie is protecting the Feyenoord defence, Lex Immers is attacking the opponent’s back four. With seven goals, and one assist in 17 starts for De Trots van Zuid, Immers is having his best season yet for the Rotterdam club.

The 27-year-old loves to draw a foul and has won 30 free-kicks this term already. Strong in the air, he can be seen nodding the ball to either winger from goal-kicks, for that winger to set-up the Italian goal machine that is Graziano Pelle.



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