Tag Archives: Memphis Depay

Eredivisie Week 3: Ajax vs. PSV preview and betting tips

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SUNDAY 24TH AUGUST

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AJAX vs. PSV (15:45 BST)

This Sunday, Ajax Amsterdam face PSV Eindhoven in a crucial early season match-up at the Amsterdam ArenA. Both sides are red-hot after two matches and the winner will have the upper hand in the hunt for the Eredivisie title, which looks to be a two horse race between the two clubs writes Alex Pieter.

Daley Blind & Memphis Depay

The PSV attack is firing on all cylinders after defeating NAC Breda by a count of 6-1 last weekend. The Ajax attack has not been too shabby itself, tallying seven goals in two matches. This match will come down to which side can defend better.

PSV has a strong central-defensive duo in the likes of Karim Rekik and Jeffrey Bruma. Jetro Willems is also a capable left-back however; the weak spot that Ajax must exploit is right-back Santiago Arias. NAC had success going at the young Colombian and Arias will face a much stronger attack this weekend. Whether he can hold up against the likes of Lasse Schöne, Thulani Serero, Davy Klaassen, Ricardo Kishna and Daley Blind will go a long way in determining the result for PSV.

The biggest question mark for the Ajax defence heading into this weekend’s showdown is the fitness of right-back Ricardo van Rhijn. Van Rhijn has been battling a hamstring injury throughout the summer, but hopes to make his comeback this weekend. Frank de Boer will have a big decision on his hands determining whether Van Rhijn is fit to start. The replacement is Ruben Ligeon, who has looked shaky at times in the first few matches. Another question facing the Ajax coach is whether to stick with Mike van der Hoorn at centre-back or go back to Joël Veltman. Veltman will be the starter in due time, but Van der Hoorn has looked solid in his first two matches. Ajax will line up with Niklas Moisander and Nicolai Boilesen as the other central defender and left-back, respectively.

Another question for Ajax is the striker situation. The plans Samuel Eto’o seems to have fallen through. As a result it will be up to Arkadiusz Milik, Kolbeinn Sigthórsson and Zivkovic to carry the load. Although Sigthórsson’s future in Ajax is in question, as a move to Queens Park Rangers looms, and his status for this weekend is still up in the air. Ajax will need big performances out of their wingers and attacking-midfielder Davy Klaassen.

The uncertainty in the Ajax camp is nothing new, as they are more than used to transfer rumours and injury problems. Last year’s captain Siem de Jong spent much of the season battling various injury problems as did Nicolai Boilesen. Frank de Boer is a seasoned coach who always seems to find a way to get the job done.

PSV have yet to reach their full potential. Adam Maher has not played like he is capable of, Luuk de Jong is still finding his feet in a new environment and coach Philip Cocu is still perfecting his rotation. They look to be Ajax’s biggest title challenger this year, with some even coining them the league favourites. If they are to be considered legitimate contenders, they will need to get at least a point in Amsterdam this weekend.

KEY PLAYERS

DALEY BLIND

By now most people know of Blind and what he is capable of. It is blatantly obvious Ajax are a much better team when Blind is in the starting line-up. They looked lost without him in the Johan Cruyff Schaal match against PEC Zwolle. He allows Klaassen to play further up the pitch, where he is most effective. Blind’s distribution also gives Ajax many added dimensions going forward and with the striker situation still in flux, Blind will be the key to unlocking the PSV defence. If he is able to find the likes of Ricardo Kishna, Anwar El-Ghazi, Klaassen and Schöne in space, it bodes well for the Amsterdammers. Blind is also adds extra protection in front of the backline, something that will be crucial against the high powered offense of PSV.

MEMPHIS DEPAY

There is no bigger name in the Eredivisie at the moment. Depay is on the radar of the top clubs from leagues across Europe and his future at PSV has been in constant flux. He is under contract at PSV until 2017, meaning if a club wants him they will have to pay up, likely in excess of €20 million. Depay is the focal point of the PSV attack, though they have other talented players in support, they will look to Depay to shoulder the load. It is not a matter of shutting down Depay for Ajax, he will get his chances, he is that good, it is a matter of controlling those chances and limiting them. If Depay is able to make the most of his chances and pick out his teammates it could spell big trouble for Ajax.

PREDICTION

Both teams are facing distractions, with each club dealing with transfer rumours regarding their star players. Additionally, PSV faced a Europa League playoff match on Thursday night. On paper, PSV has more talent than Ajax and there is little evidence to say otherwise. However, football is not played on paper and Ajax have a better team than PSV. Frank de Boer is the best manager in the Eredivisie and he has the Amsterdam giants headed in the right direction. Also, Ajax has home advantage, where they are extremely tough to beat.

RECCOMMENDED BETS

Ajax to win (9/10 – Bet Victor)

Ajax to win 3-2 correct score (20/1 – Bet Victor)

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Spurs and Man Utd miss out as Depay signs new PSV deal

Lawk Raoof discusses the new and highly improved contract signed by World Cup star Memphis Depay, which looks like the end of the road for Tottenham and Manchester United’s chances of signing the Dutchman.

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PSV’s Technical Director Marcel Brands announced this evening that Memphis Depay has signed a new contract binding him till the summer of 2018. After Vloet, Locadia and the team’s captain Georginio Wijnaldum, Depay is the fourth crucial player which signed a new and highly improved contract. Makes him and Wijnaldum PSV’s most paid player with a net yearly salary of approximately €1m and a signing bonus. However, signing an improved contract does not guarantee anything for a club. That’s why Left Forward Depay promised to stay at least one more season with PSV. A great step forward for PSV who will be vying to be this year’s Eredivisie champions. Now with midfielder Wijnaldum and Depay, two of the best and most important players in the Eredivisie are staying in Eindhoven.

Is it all good news then? Not quite. Brands stated that this means there is no longer room for a new player on the attacking front. The budget has been spent to persuade Depay to sign a new contract. Which means that PSV can ask a higher price for him when a big club such as Manchester United or Tottenham Hotspur come to buy him. Still, Brands has done the impossible because nobody was expecting Depay to stay after a fabulous World Cup and PSV has got him signed for 4 more years.

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Will Tottenham and Juventus target Memphis, please stop performing…

Jos Boesveld returns to discuss the amazing talents of PSV Eindhoven winger Memphis Depay.

What makes the Eredivisie our Eredivisie? Is it the combination between young talents and footballers who are at the end of their career? Is it the constant battle between Ajax, Feyenoord, PSV, FC Twente and maybe even Vitesse and AZ? If I had to make a choice, I would say the Eredivisie stands for a few exceptional talents every season. Kevin Strootman, Christian Eriksen, Dries Mertens, all very decent players who are being respected at their new clubs.

And we’ve got one again. His name? Memphis Depay.

I reckon he is the best attacker in the Dutch competition right now. Maybe even the best player overall, but then there’s still Daley Blind and that’s a different story for a different time. Depay shows his skills every week. If even I can see that, how will scouts, who are being paid to watch a lot of football players, look at Depay?

His first big test in the new season will be next Sunday, when he faces Ajax with his PSV. But in his last game against NAC Breda, he showed that little bit extra what makes a player interesting for bigger clubs. It’s no coincidence that it was first ‘only’ Tottenham Hotspur that was linked with Depay and last week the name of Juventus came to my ears.

With two beautiful free kicks he helped PSV get a victory over NAC Breda. It’s moments just like that which decide if a rumour is happening or not.

So all that I’m asking is simple: Memphis Depay, please stop performing in the upcoming matches. Don’t make us lose one of the biggest Dutch talents so soon. I want to enjoy the Eredivisie, with all of her talents. That’s what makes us special, that’s what gives us attention.

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Eredivisie Team Of The Week – Round 2

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Welcome to week two 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.

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GOALKEEPER

JEROEN ZOET (PSV): Kept out the exciting Adnane Tighadouini for the first half and held strong throughout, was unlucky not to keep a clean sheet.

DEFENDERS

RUBEN LIGEON (Ajax): The youngster is performing so well he may keep Ricardo van Rhijn out when he returns from injury.

ERIC BOTTEGHIN (FC Groningen): Second week in a row for the Brazilian, who is proving unbeatable in the air for Groningen.

RAMON LEEUWIN (FC Utrecht): Settling in fine at Utrecht after summer move from SC Cambuur, looking very comfortable tackling and carrying the ball forward.

ELSO BRITO (Excelsior): Left-back Brito is a constant threat for Excelsior down the left-wing and won five tackles in their 3-2 win over Go Ahead.

MIDFIELDERS

LASSE SCHONE (Ajax): An excellent performance from Schone in Ajax’s 3-1 win over AZ, providing an assist and scoring a superb goal.

KAMOHELO MOKOTJO (FC Twente): It did not take Mokotjo long to settle in at Twente with a wonderful goal this week.

JENS TOORNSTRA (FC Utrecht): Toornstra was influential in Utrecht’s 2-1 over Willem II, scored an excellent goal too.

GEORGINIO WIJNALDUM (PSV): Wijnaldum was outstanding for PSV with two great goals in their 6-1 drubbing of NAC.

ATTACKERS

MEMPHIS DEPAY (PSV): Two perfect free-kick goals and an assist in PSV’s 6-1 win over NAC Breda – Depay is our Player Of The Week

ZAKARIA LABYAD (Vitesse): Labyad scorer of both his sides goals in their 2-2 draw with Cambuur, was a thorn in the Leeuwarden’s side throughout.

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

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EREDIVISIE: PSV 6-1 NAC Breda

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SATURDAY 16TH AUGUST 2014

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PSV 6 – 1 NAC BREDA

A brilliant attacking display from Depay & Co. sends PSV to the top of the table as both Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum get braces with Jurgen Locadia getting one and Aleksandr Damcevski scoring an own goal while NAC’s star performer Adnane Tighadouini pulled one back for the away side while the game was still at 2-0. The six goals cover up a sloppy defensive display that would have been severely punished against top sides.  

PSV came into today’s game knowing a win would send them top after Feyenoord could only draw last night against Heerenveen and the rest of the division were still to play. In their last game PSV beat Willem II 3-1 in a unconvincing performance while NAC Breda suffered a disappointing opening day draw at home against newly-promoted side Excelsior who are the type of team that NAC need to beat to avoid relegation. PSV started the game with a team all either 23 years old or younger which certainly bodes well for the future of PSV. 

Before PSV’s first goal on 20 minutes the game was pretty even with both sides only having half-chances. PSV started very sloppily with players giving the ball away too often including left back Tamata who attempted a back pass which went out for a goal kick near the corner flag. Adnane Tighadouini of NAC impressed early on playing on the left side of a front three. He repeatedly got the better of Santiago Arias at right back and was probably the best player in the first half. The best early chance came from NAC’s new man upfront Kingsley Boateng who drove past a couple of defenders before trying an attempt from a tight angle which was well saved by Zoet.

Then came PSV’s first goal which was a result of a misplaced pass from Depay in the middle of NAC’s half, it was intended for Luuk de Jong but it went behind him and Wijnaldum ran into the box before taking it in his stride and slotting the ball home into the bottom right corner of the net. Then came a period of PSV domination in which PSV hardly left NAC’s half. The pressure paid off in the 25th minute when Depay passed to Arias who ran down the wing and crossed it low for de Jong, only for NAC debutant Aleksandar Damchevski to deflect the ball into his own net.

However, NAC did get themselves back into the game in the 29th minute when the impressive Tighadouini got on the ball and slid a pass through to Erik Falkenburg who was running clear before being brought down by a pull from Arias for a penalty. Tighadouini then stepped up to score the penalty, which brought the game into a more level playing field. Their goal was followed up quickly by two chances from Tighadouini who both times cut inside a poor Arias and attempted an effort into the top corner, one of which went just wide while the other was tipped over by Zoet.

The second half started off badly for NAC with Tighadouini had to come off in the 48th minute due to an ankle injury he had sustained in the early stages of the game. Just after the substitution Falkenburg had a great chance to bring NAC level with a close range effort that was well saved by Zoet. This was quickly followed by a brilliant free kick from Memphis Depay, exactly 21.3 metres out thanks to the on-screen graphics, which curled over the wall and into the right hand side of the net to send the home side two goals clear.

This beckoned the crumbling of the NAC defence, two minutes later Jurgen Locadia drove the ball into the top corner from outside the box after he was set up by a lovely deft De Jong back-heel. This was then followed by yet another goal, this time from Wijnaldum to make it 5-1, he received the ball in an area of space inside the box before lifting the ball into the corner of the net, unforgivable defending from NAC. Despite being 5-1 up and in a seemingly comfortable position PSV still appeared vulnerable to attack from NAC and had they been more accurate with their final balls they could’ve had a couple of goals.

In the 73 minute however Depay got his second from an almost identical free kick to his first to finish off the rout. This well and truly took the wind out of NAC’s sails and they barely threatened after this as the game wound down to the final whistle.

Overall, Phillip Cocu will be extremely pleased with his side’s attacking prowess but will be concerned at the ease in which NAC managed to create some of their attacks from the wing especially, both Arias and Tamata were substituted before the end after poor defensive performances.

TEAMS

PSV: Zoet, Arias (Hendrix 73), Bruma, Rekik, Tamata (Brenet 46), Wijnaldum (Vloet 78), Hiljemark, Maher, Locadia, De Jong, Depay.

SUBS NOT USED: Pasveer, Narsingh, Jozefzoon, Vloet, Ritzmaier.

GOALS: Wijnaldum 21 & 57, Damcevski 25OG, Depay 51 & 73, Locadia 53.

BOOKINGS: Arias 29.

NAC: Ten Rouwelaar, Ssewankambo, Drost, Damcevski, Amieux, De Kamps, Falkenburg, Matic, Hooi (Seuntjens 69), Boateng, Tighadouini (Sarpong 49).

SUBS NOT USED: Babos, De Roover, Sarpong, Suk, Swerts, Van der Weg.

GOALS: Tighadouini 30P.

BOOKINGS: None.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Memphis Depay (PSV)

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EREDIVISIE: Willem II 1-3 PSV

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SUNDAY 10TH AUGUST 2014

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WILLEM II 1 – 3 PSV

Philip Cocu’s PSV was uninspiring away to Eredivisie new boys Willem II but still came away with a 3-1 win in the final game of the weekend.

PSV exploded out the blocks and harried Willem II into two defensive mistakes that resulted in two goals in the first ten minutes. First off, Kostas Lamprou making his debut for the Tilburg side since joining on loan from Feyenoord, dramatically rushed out of his goal on seven minutes to meet the ball a few yards outside of the area. After the keeper took an awful touch, the ball flick up in the air which allowed Jürgen Locadia to nod the ball out of the goalie’s path. The striker then aimed the ball towards goal and Jordan Peters hurried back but was unable to clear off the line and PSV were a goal ahead.

The lead was doubled minutes later after another horrific mistake. After a pass back went wrong from Robbie Haemhouts, Memphis Depay collected the ball twisted and turned the Willem II defence and place a low drive inside Lamprou’s post. The fans inside the Koning Willem II Stadion were booing, apart from the 500 PSV fans in the south east corner.

The Eindhoven side looked like they were going to go on a rout, however the Eredivisie newcomers collected themselves and put up a fight and even grabbed a goal back before the break. The exciting Terrel Ondaan got past Luuk de Jong on the right and fired in a low ball into the area. Brazilian striker Bruno Andrade collected the loose ball, spun his defender and finished from close range, a great goal.

The relegation contenders looked anything but after the goal as Cocu’s men were on the ropes and had Jeroen Zoet to thanks for retaining the lead. Before the break, the PSV keeper parried a great effort from long range by Ondaan.

After the interval, as the torrential rain came down, Willem II should have been level within eight minutes of the restart. Andrade whipped a vicious ball towards the back post from the right wing which Ben Sahar connected with his head and nodded back across goal. Belgian midfielder Stijn Wuytens was a metre out and headed the ball straight at Zoet, easy enough for the keeper to catch. A terrible miss by the former PSV midfielder.

Zoet held firm for the remainder of the game and PSV wrapped up the points with less than 15 minutes to go. Depay placed a perfect ball through to Georginio Wijnaldum in the area and the midfielder was tripped by Lamprou, who immediately received his marching orders from referee Kevin Blom. Depay easily dispatched the remaining penalty to seal the win.

TEAMS

WILLEM II: Lamprou, Peters, Ondaan (Vicento 67), Haemhouts, Messaoud, Andrade (Meul 75), Sahar (Ippel 80), D. Wuytens, Heymans, Cornelisse, S. Wuytens.

SUBS NOT USED: Heerkens, Vossebelt, Zanelli, Deckers.

GOALS: Andrade 40.

BOOKINGS: Messaoud 50, Andrade 61, Peters 68.

SENT OFF: Lamprou 73.

PSV: Zoet, Brenet, Bruma, Hendrix, Tamata, Maher (Ritzmaier 80), Wijnaldum, Hiljemark, Locadia (Narsingh 81), De Jong, Depay (Jozefzoon 85).

SUBS NOT USED: Pasveer, Arias, Vloet, Koch.

GOALS: Locadia 7, Depay 10 & 76P.

BOOKINGS: None.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Memphis Depay (PSV)

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Player Spotlight – Tottenham target Memphis Depay

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Memphis Depay have been compared with Cristiano Ronaldo because of his playing style, but does he have what it takes to become a Premier League revelation if he would make the transfer to Tottenham Hotspur writes Martijn Hilhorst.

As a young kid you could see his potential, but after a combination of negative events in his young life he became a player with some mentality issues. The turnover in his career came in the name of Henk Fraser (current coach of ADO Den Haag). The former defender is known for his disciplined way of coaching his players. Apparently it helped the young Memphis to commit truly to football. His PSV- coach at the time was Fred Rutten (current coach Feyenoord) and he saw a bright future for the winger. In September 2011 he debuted for PSV in a cup match versus VVSB (0-8) where he scored the opening goal and later on the 0-5.

He made his Eredivisie debut on 26 February 2012 in the home match versus Feyenoord (3-2). His first goal came only a few weeks later on the 18th of March in an easy victory over Heerenveen (5-1). He finally played eight matches in which he scored three times. In 2012-13 he officially became a first squad player and he was used quite often for a player his age. In 20 matches he managed to score twice.

His career went sky high before the start of 2013-14 after the departure of left winger Mertens to Napoli. Now a year later we could definitely conclude that Memphis is a player which could make any right-back dizzy. Looking to some of his statistics it makes your head spin. An unbelievable number of shots and dribbles.

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The difference among the number two Kostic is only six, but the success rate from Depay speaks for him. The whole top five are as expected wingers, but Depay is the only inverted winger which makes it harder to complete a dribble.

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There is a negative side to his playing style, the first and most obvious conclusion is that Depay is to trigger-happy which you could clearly see at his ‘SCR’. But decision-making comes with age. And also with practicing and hard working which will not be a problem with his mentality.

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Memphis may have some problems with making the right decision, but that doesn’t mean he is an egocentric footballer if you look to his created chances. Only the absolute brilliant Tadic finished above him. The difference in amount of CC’s with his teammates are immense. After Depay comes Stijn Schaars with fifty and as third comes Jürgen Locadia with 33. Combine those two players and they still have three less then Tottenham Hotspur target Depay.

After an excellent season followed the World Cup in Brazil where he had four appearances and he scored twice and gave one assist. He also became the youngest player for the Netherlands to score on a WC with 20 years, 4 months, 5 days (via @OptaJohan).

After a struggling season with PSV it became clear that Depay, under any circumstances, could perform. He is an exceptional talent which proved that he not only could outshine in the Eredivisie but also on the highest level versus the best opponents possible. It is hard to predict if he is ready for the Premier League, but one thing is clear that with his current form Tottenham won’t be the only club interested in him.

*All stats courtesy of WhoScored and Squawka, via Opta.

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TOTTENHAM DEAL FOR DEPAY RUBBISHED BY DUTCH JOURNALIST

The Mirror report of a Tottenham Hotspur bid of €10M plus Belgian winger Nacer Chadli for World Cup starlet Memphis Depay has been rubbished by leading PSV Eindhoven journalist Rik Elfrink.

The problems with the reports seem to stem from the fact that there has been no bid and PSV also want more money for the 20-year-old. Elfrink also went on to state that Depay is a probable starter tomorrow night when the Dutch side meet SKN St. Polten tomorrow night in a Europa League qualifier. The young Dutch forward is in Austria with the squad, which would be strange if a bid had been received and accepted.

Depay, who was named on the short list for young player of the tournament at the World Cup, scored two goals for his country during the group stages and has already appeared 60 times for PSV tallying 17 goals in the meantime.

It is no secret that he is highly sought after and White Hart Lane might be an ideal destination for the next stage of his development but in this instance of speculation it is simply a rumour.

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Spurs and Man Utd target considers move

Highly-rated PSV winger Memphis Depay, believed to be a target for Premier League duo Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, has said that he will consider leaving the Eindhoven club.

The 20-year-old impressed at the World Cup finals in Brazil this summer after an excellent campaign in the Eredivisie and now Depay has admitted that interest from the bigger clubs in Europe would prompt him to think about a move.

“I have done my time at PSV but if big clubs from big leagues ask, I will think about it. There is lots of interest but there is definitely an option to stay” he said. “I understand fans want me to play well this season in Eindhoven, but I’m one who decides how my career continues, no one else.”

Depay is under contract at PSV until June 2017 and it is reported that it would take a fee of over €20 million for PSV to consider the player leaving. In the player’s mind, one would have to say Manchester United, now managed by Louis van Gaal, would be the favourites to sign Depay. Former Oranje coach, Van Gaal was working closely with the winger in last month’s World Cup.

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The Dutch prodigy targeted by Tottenham and Man Utd

Memphis Depay is a name on everybody’s lips after he showed himself to be one of the brightest talents in football at this summer’s World Cup with two goals and one assist. During the tournament he became the youngest Dutch player to score at a World Cup at the age of just 20. He was nominated for the best young player of the tournament award, but was beaten to the accolade by Paul Pogba, but it’s clear that Depay is one of the most exciting young players in the world.

 

It’s not surprising that he has been linked with a move to England as Tottenham and Manchester United have both been linked, but it is believed it would take a fee upwards of £15m to get him, with PSV keen not to miss out on a big pay day for the player that needed a lot of development, especially when it came to the mental side of the game.

Although he is now known by some as the ‘Dutch Cristiano Ronaldo’, he had a lot of problems in his teenage years. He was a complicated child and was designated a life coach by PSV, who referred to Depay as ‘very angry’. The World Cup star struggled to adapt to the set up at the Dutch club, mainly due to his problems with authority. This developed from the problems he went through with his parents, who divorced when the winger was only four years of age, causing a great deal of emotional stress. It remains evident to this day as he wears ‘Memphis’ on the back of his shirt as he doesn’t feel a connection with his father or his name. Every great footballer normally has a troubling story and Depay is no different.

He overcame his personal issues to focus on football, and featured for Holland in several age groups, highlighting how he was always ahead of children of the same age when it came down to ability. In 2011, he was part of the under 17 side which won the European U17 Championship, scoring in the final. His experience at youth tournaments will have helped him a lot this summer when he excelled at his first senior tournament and nobody would doubt his ability to shine at more major tournaments in the future. He is often seen as a character who sometimes becomes over confident and even cocky when it comes to his own ability, but self belief is crucial in reaching the top of the game, and that is exactly where Depay is headed.

Depay was only 17 when he made his PSV debut in the Dutch Cup during an 8-0 demolition of WSB Noordwijkerhout, making his name with two goals. Yet he didn’t make his Eredivisie debut until he was a year older, making a cameo appearance against Feyenoord in 2012. His first league goal came against Heerenveen in a 5-1 victory, despite only being brought on for the closing stages of the match. It was clear he was going to become a key player for PSV very quickly, playing in 20 league matches during the 2012-13 season, but it was last season that he became a consistent starter, featuring in 32 matches.

After establishing himself at PSV, he quickly became one of the best players in the Eredivisie. Last season he netted 12 goals and managed to get 7 assists, while he also managed to score his first ever European goal. This summer saw him add his first international goal against Australia in a very nervy match for the Dutch, clearly showing his determined character. He wasn’t struck down by nerves, which happens to a lot of established players at international tournaments, let alone young players finding their way in the game. It’s clear Depay is only going one way and he may need to leave the Eredivisie to achieve his goals, the only question is whether that will be this summer, or at a later date.

For those who are unfamiliar with Depay, he is a player who can play all across the attacking positions, but it best suited to playing wide left. He is somebody who likes to dribble with the ball and has excellent ball control. His pace is crucial to his game as he can often use it to beat defenders of to make runs in behind the opposition defence, while he is also very skillful which makes him difficult to defend against. Depay is most dangerous from range as he has a terrific long shot, which resulted in a lot of goals last season. He is equally dangerous from free kicks. His main weakness is his decision making as he can often shoot when he has better options around him, but that is a trait common in young players and it will start to fade with experience.

It’s is unquestionable that the Dutch international is an exciting talent, whose reputation has been enhanced after his impressive performances at the World Cup, but it would be a gamble for a side to pay a big transfer fee for him. He has only had one full season as a first team regular and still has a lot to develop, in order to become a consistently good performer. It may be in his best interest to remain in the Eredivisie for another season to develop further, before making the move to a bigger league. It would do him no good to make a move to early and stagnate on the bench at a club like Tottenham who have a lot of attacking talent. A move to Manchester United may be perfect as he will be working with a manager he knows and the competition will be less fierce. He clearly has the right character to progress in the game, but a young player relies a lot on timing when it comes to his first big move. Is this summer the right time to leave for pastures new? The jury is out on that one.

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Who could be Eredivisie 2014/15 top scorer?

The top goal scorer in the Eredivisie last season was won by the Icelandic international and SC Heerenveen striker Alfred Finnbogason. He top scored with 29 goals proving that he was worthy of his market value.

Although this coming season, the Eredivisie will not be home to the likes of Finnbogason or the runner-up of last season’s title Graziano Pellè, who scored 23 goals last term for Feyenoord.

Both strikers have left the league for their new clubs. Finnbogason signing for the La Liga side Real Sociedad and Pellè joined his former manager Ronald Koeman at Premier League side Southampton.

As both first and second place top scorers of the league last season have departed along with other competitors such as Dušan Tadić. The Serbian international notched 16 times last season and finished fourth top goal scorer for his club FC Twente. Tadić has also recently transferred to Southampton and this leaves a massive opportunity for other young talented players to make a name for themselves this coming season.

Here are a number of players that I consider will be competing to win the ‘Golden Boot’ in the Eredivisie.

LUC CASTAIGNOS

The Dutch born striker who plays for FC Twente showed us why he deserves to play for the Jong Oranje last year as he went on to score 14 goals, unlike other strikers strangely none of his goals came from the penalty spot. His playing style has led the media to compare him to the French legend Thierry Henry and he also holds the all-time Netherlands Under-17s leading goalscorer honour.

Twente lost their top scorer from last season Tadić, this should mean that the club will rely on Castaignos even more during the coming season to provide them with more goals than he usually is expected to score.

ARON JÓHANNSSON

I have high expectations for this AZ Alkmaar striker during the 2014/15 campaign. During last term, he managed to score 17 finishing third behind Finnbogason and Pellè.

He is also returning from the World Cup in Brazil, where he represented the United States during their very successful campaign. Jóhannsson made his World Cup debut during America’s opening match against Ghana, coming on for the injured Jozy Altidore, himself a former player for AZ. His experience was short lived though, as he made very little impact and did not play in their last three matches of the tournament.

The 23-year-old will have to undergo ankle surgery and will be out for the opening six to eight weeks of the season. Considering the only two players that scored more goals than him last season have both left the league means that he should be in with a shout this season no matter if he misses the opening few weeks of the season for AZ.

MEMPHIS DEPAY

This left winger for PSV Eindhoven has always come up with the goals when their needed, but most importantly his World Cup success with the Dutch, finishing third overall in the competition, will come as a massive learning curve for this young talent. After scoring twice during the tournament, Depay’s confidence will be sky high coming into the start of the season. Once Depay is given the license to play an attacking role for his side then he should bag more than his fair share of goals during the 2014-15 campaign.

LEX IMMERS

The number 10 for Feyenoord is sure to score more than a few this season. The departure of Pellè will mean that more will be expected of Immers and he has proven that he is a threat to any defence in the league after notching 12 times last campaign.

This attacking midfielder should be more than just competing for the Eredivisie championship this season.

THE OTHERS

Other names such as NAC Breda’s new signing Erik Falkenburg will also be attempting to make an impact at his new club and to become the top goalscorer would be the perfect way to do it.

Names such as Bryan Linssen (Heracles), Jens Toornstra (FC Utrecht) and Jurgen Locadia (PSV) are players that cannot be ruled out to challenge for the title of leading goalscorer in the Eredivisie during the upcoming campaign.

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

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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.

SQUAD

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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25 EREDIVISIE STARS OF THE SEASON… SO FAR – PART 2

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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…

Feyenoord - Jordy Clasie

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.”

PSV - Memphis Depay

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.

Heerenveen - Alfred Finnbogason

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.

Vitesse - Jan-Arie van der Heijden

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.

Roda JC - Guus Hupperts

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.

JOIN US TOMORROW FOR PART THREE

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