Tag Archives: Sam Larsson

Total Dutch Football 2014/15 Breakthrough Talent of the Season


Throughout this year’s campaign, we have seen some great talents emerge as scouts from all over Europe honed in on them. Myself and the remainder of the staff at TotalDutchFootball.com have been assessing who can be declared as the best ‘Breakthrough Talent of the Season’.

All staff were asked to name their top three talents. Each first pick received three points, second place received two points and one point was awarded for the third pick. The results are below…



Winner – JESUS CORONA (FC Twente) 5 points

The little Mexican nicknamed “El Tecatito”, signed on a free transfer aged 20 from Liga MX side Monterrey after rejecting a new contract from the Mexican club in 2013. After taking a while to settle in under Albert Schreuder, Corona now 22-years-old, has shown he is perfect example of a pacy winger with a tremendous dribbling ability to torment full-backs down either flank.

He appeared in 27 games for Twente this year, notching nine goals and supplying four assists, showing to be a shining light, in a what has been a disappointing season for his side. Tecatito’s consistency has enhanced his already impressive skills. His speed and trickery make him a very elusive footballer who provides depth to the team, which results in goal opportunities.

Due to Twente’s crippling financial status, Corona looks to be moved on next season and could end up leaving the Eredivisie. However, the young Mexican has finally shone in Holland and he is surely set to raise a big chunk of funds for the Enschede club.

Joint 2nd – MARK UTH & SAM LARSSON (Heerenveen) 4 points

The Heerenveen pair have been surprising successes for Dwight Lodeweges this year. Both used as replacements for summer sales, Alfred Finnbogasson and Hakim Ziyech respectively have excelled. The stocky German striker, Uth has scored 15 times in 32 outings to become the club’s top scorer and managed to use his strength to hold the ball up and created 10 assists. Also notching goals is Swedish winger Larsson with eight with four assists. Both players have linked with moves away themselves this coming summer, not an unusual process for Heerenveen.


ALBERT RUSNAK (FC Groningen) 3 points

TJARONN CHERY (FC Groningen) 3 points

ANWAR EL GHAZI (Ajax) 3 points

TOM VAN WEERT (Excelsior) 2 points

TERENCE KONGOLO (Feyenoord) 2 points




BERTRAND TRAORE (Vitesse) 1 point


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How does PSV replace Memphis Depay?

The announcement last week of the transfer of Memphis Depay to Manchester United has left PSV with a significant hole to fill.  Luckily for PSV, they have money in the bank now in order to try and fill this hole.  We all know and appreciate Memphis’ talents and he might be one of those once in a generation footballers but PSV need to ask the question “How do we Replace Memphis”? Even with Memphis leaving, PSV still have a very talented side but they will certainly miss the X-Factor that he provided.  Replacing Memphis will be a hard task but there are some options at PSV’s disposal.  Rogier Waalder looks at the candidates:

Jesus Manuel Corona (FC Twente)

One of the only players in the Eredivisie this year who catches the eye as much as Depay does, is the Mexican winger Jesus Corona, who plays for FC Twente.  A very tricky and skilful winger, he certainly has the ability to turn a game like Memphis does.  He has scored 13 goals in his 32 games this season and his dribbling, first touch and technique are in the same class as Memphis.  He does lack the power and free-kick abilities of Memphis but is only 22 years old.  FC Twente will be holding a fire-sale in the summer to clear their debts and so Corona is very much on the market.  A big stumbling block, though, is his wage demands with a recent poll showing that 85% of PSV fans do not think he is worth the reported 1 million EURO salary that he is after.

Sam Larsson (SC Heerenveen)

Swedish international Larsson is a new arrival to Heerenveen this season, after joining from Goteburg in the off-season.  He has proven to be yet another potential Scandinavian jewel that the Heerenveen scouting team has delivered over the years.  Has all the same hallmarks as Corona but represents a more powerful, cheaper option.  Larsson has contributed 8 goals and 6 assists in his 20 games this season. Heerenveen have already offered him a new contract, but he has refused to consider this at present.  He has a contract until 2018 so Heerenveen aren’t in any rush to sell but PSV might be tempted to make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Ricardo Kishna (Ajax)

Yes he plays for Ajax presently and yes this is probably the biggest obstacle in Kishna going to PSV, but transfers between PSV & Ajax are not unheard of.  Kishna is a year younger than Memphis and despite his young age has already proven that he can light up the Eredivisie.  His flair, trickery, dribbling and pace are very comparable to Memphis and he has a return of 5 goals and assists from 20 matches this season.  This current Dutch youth team player only has 1 year to run on his Ajax contract, so he could force the issue if PSV make a serious play for his services.

Elvis Manu (Feyenoord)

Plays for Feyenoord, so again some question marks surrounding a desire to sell him to PSV but he also has the hallmarks of someone who could replace Memphis.  A 21-year old natural Left Winger, Manu has had a good season for Feyenoord with 14 goals in 34 matches, including some great performances in the Europa League.  Manu has great pace and strength but his overall technique and consistency would need some improvement to reach Memphis levels but definitely a great raw talent.

Steven Berghuis (AZ Alkmaar)

Berghuis has been a standout performer for AZ this season with 10 goals in 22 appearances.  The former Twente youth player can play on either wing or as Striker and has excellent technical and passing abilities.  He has a strong desire to succeed (much like Memphis does) and would arguably be the cheapest of the options presented thus far.  He probably isn’t quite at the standard that Memphis is but would be a good squad player, in conjunction with another big name signing.

Bilal Ould-Chikh (FC Twente)

If PSV are looking at a longer term prospect that they can bring up to Memphis’ standard then Ould-Chikh might be their guy.  Only 17 years old he has already played 15 full games for FC Twente this season.  An out and out winger with great technique, pace and dribbling abilities Ould-Chikh certainly has the potential to rival Memphis one day.  FC Twente might be needing cash to satisfy their creditors at the moment, but surely they’ll want to hang on to their star prospect and try and build a team around him.

Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United)

Januzaj has been on the outer at Manchester United since Van Gaal’s arrival and was rumoured to have been offered as part of any deal taking Memphis to England.  It doesn’t look like this has eventuated but a cashed up PSV could do a lot worse than taking the talented Belgian to Eindhoven, even if it is on loan.  Even though he has not scored in the Premier League this year, the footballing world is very aware of Januzaj’s abilities with a ball at his feet and his technique and flair do rival those of Memphis.  He is on a massive salary at Man Utd and this is why a loan move but be the best for both teams, particularly as Memphis will certainly be a direct rival for Januzaj.

Serge Gnabry (Arsenal)

Another potential loan option is the Arsenal youngster, Serge Gnabry.  Like Januzaj Gnabry burst onto the scene last season before injury curtailed his plans and has had limited game time since.  He may be best suited to a spell in the Eredivisie, whilst also getting guaranteed Champions League action.  Gnabry has fantastic physical attributes and his attacking tendancies would be very well suited to this PSV side.

Ola John (Benfica)

For a 22-year old John seems to have been around for a long time, and certainly his club movements would indicate the same.  Currently at Benfica, the lure of returning home to PSV may be one that suits John as he looks to break back into the Dutch national team setup.  Another out and out pacy winger John could be the perfect provider for Luuk de Jong.

Filip Kostic (Stuttgart)

22-year old Serbian Kostic played 2 seasons in the Eredivisie with Groningen before earning a move to Stuttgart in the off-season.  He has played reasonably well in a struggling side with 3 goals and 7 assists thus far.  He has tremendous cross abilities and is also an accomplished finisher.  If Stuttgart do get relegated this season this might be enough to convince Kostic to return to the Netherlands and the lure of Champions League football.

There are some options available internally at PSV at present headlined by the wantaway Zakaria Bakkali and the raw but very inconsistent Florian Jozefzoon.  A long term potential replacement is the exciting young Steven Bergwijn, who made his Eredivisie debut on the weekend at the age of 17. Bergwijn is very highly thought of at PSV and has tremendous pace and acceleration.  If his technical abilities continue to develop over the next few seasons he is definitely one to watch.


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EREDIVISIE: Heerenveen 2-0 Excelsior





Heerenveen fans must have been nervous about life after Alfred Finnbogason and even more so over the past week after FC Twente took Hakim Ziyech out of the side too. Although there is a new guy in town, his name is Sam Larsson. A young winger who top Swedish journalist Markus Wulcan tipped for greatness. Along with the excellent skills of Daley Sinkgraven, Larsson showed a glimspe of this and provided a goal against Excelsior on Saturday night in Heerenveen’s 2-0 win that may have calmed down those fans’ fears writes Will Burns.

Dwight Lodeweges not only handed a debut to Larsson but to Morten Thorsby also with this week’s new signing Jeroen Lumu, formerly of Willem II, started on the bench.

The home side should have been a goal up early in the game after Stefano Marzo skipped past Elso Brito on the right-wing and decided to pop a shot off himself but blasted his effort way over the bar.

The first half was a tight affair and mostly consisted of midfield battles; however Excelsior were unlucky no to head into the break a goal up after a great chance from captain Sander Fischer. From a right-wing free kick Fischer received the ball on the edge of the box and smashed a shot right down the middle of the goal but Heerenveen stopper Kristoffer Nordfeldt was on hand to tip the shot onto the bar, much to the home fans delight.

Heerenveen had a decent chance which striker Mark Uth made a right pig’s ear of just before the half-time whistle. Larsson switched a wonderful ball over to Luciano Slagveer on the opposite wing, and Slagveer proceeded to pop a lovely ball into the area for Uth. The striker got it all wrong and eventually headed the ball away from goal instead of testing Jordy Deckers in the Excelsior goal.

Just after the break after Slagveer hit a low drive just wide, the impressive Daley Sinkgraven, only 18 year of age displayed great skill weaving in and out of the Excelsior defenders and the youngster threaded the ball through to Slagveer on 53 minutes, but Deckers held firm and made a vital stop.

The action really started to build with just eight minutes to go when Excelsior threw away what could have been a good point. After Sinkgraven again put Slagveer through on goal, hesitation from Deckers and Kevin van Dierman let Slagveer take control of the ball. The led to Deckers bringing the winger down and referee Edwin van der Graff point to the spot and dismissed the goalkeeper immediately.

With the visitors using all three subs, midfielder Kevin Vermuelen had to pull on Decker’s green shirt and do a stint in goal. He could do nothing about Martin de Roon’s spot kick and Heerenveen were ahead.

With the ten-men, Excelsior pressed for an equaliser however as usual in these cases it worked to their disadvantage as Heerenveen substitute Yanic Wildschut nearly made them pay with five minutes to go with a great counter attack. However, stand-in keeper Vermuelen made a great stop with his feet.

Minutes later, it was two and Sam Larsson capped off his debut with a goal that cemented all three points for his side. Great work again from Wildschut running at the retreating Excelsior defence, as he played the ball through the fast Larsson rushing down the right-wing. The young Swede used great composure to hit a first-time finish superbly to clinch the points.


HEERENVEEN: Nordfeldt, Marzo, Buijs (Otigba 59), Van Aken, Van Anholt, Thorsby (Lumu 70), Sinkgraven, De Roon, Slagveer, Uth (Wildschut 78), Larsson.

SUBS NOT USED: Schmidt, Raitala, De Fockert, Van Amersfoort.

GOALS: De Roon 84P, Larsson 89.

BOOKINGS: Uth 35, Otigba 64.

EXCELSIOR: Deckers, Karami, Van Dieren, Kruijs, Fischer, Botaka, Auassar, Van Weert (Maletic 73), Stans (Vermeulen 69), Van Mieghem (Gouriye 80), Brito.

SUBS NOT USED: Kuipers, Mattheij, Damen, Bovenberg.

GOALS: None.

BOOKINGS: Brito 61.

SENT OFF: Deckers 82.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Daley Sinkgraven (Heerenveen)


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Heerenveen new boy ready to shine in the Eredivisie

Earlier this week, Heerenveen coach Dwight Lodeweges signed the highly-rated Swedish winger Sam Larsson from IFK Göteborg for around €1.4m. Will Burns spoke with Swedish journalist Markus Wulcan of Aftonbladet about the 21- year old starlet.

New signing Sam Larsson ready to take Eredivisie by storm – image courtesy of sc-Heerenveen.nl

After selling Bilal Bascikoglu to Feyenoord earlier this month, Lodeweges went out shopping for a new creative force to provide opportunities for new Danish striker Thomas Dalgaard. On Wednesday evening, it was announced that Larsson had swapped the blue and white stripes of Allsvenskan side IFK Göteborg for the blue and white stripes of De Superfriezen.

Swedish writer Wulcan predicts big things for Larsson and expects the young Swede to take to straight the Heerenveen fans hearts. Many pundits in Swedish football are angered by the low amount that Göteborg received for Larsson and think that his value could rise up to €10m within a few seasons.

Larsson began his career at the small club of IK Zenith before joining Swedish giants Göteborg in 2010. In this teens, he was also a great floor-ball player and has said that he “could have been one of the three best players in the world.”

Larsson is primarily a right-footed left-winger although Markus thinks he is better utilised behind the striker: “In my opinion, Larsson’s best position is as a second striker, a number ten. He has a very good sense of playing with his excellent technical skills. He likes to dribble and is good one and one. The Heerenveen crowd will love him.”

Wulcan states that Larsson has progressed so much over the last year, but at just 21 there is still improvements to be seen from the new Heerenveen signing: “Sam has been much stronger this year and more consistent. The hard work in the gym did pay off and he used this to his advantage. But of course, he is a young guy and can improve a lot of things. He could be more active over 90 minutes, not just a few good flashes of skill.”

Wulcan continued to say, although he was possibly the most skilful player in the Swedish top flight last term, he could improve in front of goal: “He could also score more goals and contribute with more assists and become a more determined player and the left foot is not the best.”

Heerenveen is a well known club for nurturing great footballers like Jon Dahl Tomasson, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and more recently Alfred Finnbogason. Marcus suggests that this move for the young Swede could be an excellent move for him: “I think the Eredivisie is a perfect step for Larsson, he is a future Swedish star and will be soon ready for the national team, just give him some time.” 

By the sounds of things, Sam Larsson could prove to be one of the bargains of the summer.

You can follow Markus on Twitter via @MarkusWulcan


Check out some video highlights of the Heerenveen new boy here, prepare to be dazzled…


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