6 Eredivisie bargains who would be perfect for Premier League clubs
1. Davy Propper (PSV)
The 2016/17 season was one to forget for PSV, who barely threatened to defend their title. One of the saving graces was Davy Propper, whose valiant performances continued even as his partners in midfield were continually rotated. Amidst the inconsistency and underperformance of his team-mates, it often fell to the former Vitesse man to make the difference and he stepped up to the plate. Propper scored or assisted PSV’s opening goal in 12 games in all competitions. This comes in spite of him often playing as the deepest, most defensive midfielder.
The 25-year-old was nearly sold to Zenit Saint Petersburg in January 2017, but ultimately the Russian club did not offer a high enough fee and talks broke down. This had no negative impact on Propper, who went on to score or assist eight goals in nine league games from mid-January to mid-March.
For the last few seasons, Davy Propper has been one of the best passing midfielders in the Eredivisie and it might be time for the Dutchman to test himself at a higher level.
2. Joel Veltman (Ajax)
Until Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s goal in the Europa League final, no left winger had been able to score vs Ajax in a game where Veltman started as right-back
At just 25, Joel Veltman was one of the old heads in an ultra-youthful Ajax squad last season. While he's neither particularly fast, nor a notable tackler, Veltman is a highly intelligent player; he is an adept reader of the game and proactive in his defending, unafraid to press high to snuff out a threat. Until Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s goal in the Europa League final, no left winger had been able to score vs Ajax in a game where Veltman started as right-back.
The Dutch international is also very skilled on the ball, regularly foraying forward into the opponent’s half with his mazy dribbles. He also possesses an expansive passing range, incredibly useful to any side built around a possession-based approach.
With the player himself signalling that he is ready for a move this summer despite talks of a contract extension at Ajax - and the fact that he is on his final year of contract - Crystal Palace and former manager Frank de Boer are rumoured to be interested.
3. Sam Larsson (Heerenveen)
Known as Samba Sam, Larsson has exquisite skills and yet is the antithesis of a Brazilian footballer. He plays with no emotion
That Heerenveen managed to survive the last January window without losing their prized possession, Swedish winger Sam Larsson, is quite a feat.
Affectionately known as Samba Sam, Larsson has exquisite skills and yet is the antithesis of a Brazilian footballer. He plays with no emotion. If Ajax's prized Dane Kasper Dolberg can appear nonchalant, Larsson looks absolutely insouciant at times. For all the joy he evokes among fans with his dribbles and nutmegs, Larsson is a reserved person. At times, this body language is interpreted on field to be of a lack of interest about the team, especially if Heerenveen are losing.
It's difficult to definitively say whether Larsson has outgrown the Eredivisie, but the freckled attacker is definitely getting there. While a move to one of the traditional top three can be very beneficial in terms of gaining experience and developing your game, the likes of Dusan Tadic and Vincent Janssen have earned themselves transfers to England without playing for Ajax, Feyenoord or PSV.
Larsson does not have a lot of recognition outside the Eredivisie yet, but if clubs are smart with their scouting, they might be able to identify the talent that the 24-year-old possesses. He could turn out to be a bargain buy this summer.