Scouted! The 7 most exciting Eredivisie prospects who’ll soon be ripe for Premier League progression

Kasper Dolberg

Holland has long been a happy hunting ground for English clubs in search of unpolished gems to make their own. Sam Planting profiles the (new) new kids on the block

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1. Kasper Dolberg (Ajax)

The story
Dolberg has been the breakout star of the current Eredivisie season. The 19-year-old Danish striker has established himself as Ajax’s most prolific attacker, even though he came to Amsterdam less than 18 months ago as a total unknown.

In 25 club appearances, Dolberg has scored 11 goals and contributed four assists, while his minutes-per-goal rate stands at an impressively low 144. He gained national attention after a brilliantly dispatched opening goal against Feyenoord in October, and followed that up with a hat-trick performance against NEC in November.

He’d be perfect for…
Basically every team who dares to start a teenage striker. Dolberg is the complete package: deceptively fast, a calm finisher and boasting a magical first touch. Off the field, Dolberg is known for his stoic personality – he never seems to be fazed by the magnitude of a situation.

Premier League destination
Manchester United could find their next word-class centre-forward in Dolberg, but their city rivals have already been linked – according to one of their own scouts. But there will be plenty of other suitors, because a teenage version of Robert Lewandowski doesn’t pop up every day.

2. Steven Bergwijn (PSV)

The story
A right-footed, technically gifted and speedy left winger, Bergwijn seems to be PSV’s best man to fill the hole that Memphis Depay left in Eindhoven when he departed to Manchester in the summer of 2015.

Manager Phillip Cocu has been hesitant in fully trusting him to start matches, but whenever Bergwijn is on the field, PSV tend to play better. He’d be a welcome sight for a club in need of offensive creativity.

He’d be perfect for…
A team that’s willing to be patient with him. Bergwijn is a massive talent, but needs time to fully develop.

Premier League destination
Ronald Koeman hasn’t misfired yet when it comes to bringing Eredivisie talent to his Premier League sides. Besides, Everton could really use a winger right now.

3. Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax)

The story
Already a fan favourite at 17, centre-back De Ligt seems to be another sure-fire winner to emerge from De Toekomst, the youth facility in Amsterdam.

Despite his extremely young age, it seems to be a matter of months before manager Peter Bosz simply can’t afford to not start him on a weekly basis. De Ligt has thoroughly impressed in his five starts in domestic cup and Europa League games so far.

He’d be perfect for…
A top side who values build-up from the back. De Ligt is big (6ft 3in), but an efficient passer with both feet and a diligent man-marker.


Premier League destination
De Ligt seems to check all the boxes Pep Guardiola is looking for in a centre-back at Manchester City. His playing style is reminiscent of John Stones’s.

4. Rick van Drongelen (Sparta Rotterdam)

The story
Rick van Drongelen has only just turned 18, which makes it all the more incredible that the left-footed centre-back has already started 29 games for Rotterdam’s second-biggest club.

Van Drongelen’s stellar defending at both centre-back and on the left has attracted attention from various bigger clubs in the Eredivisie.

He’d be perfect for…
Lower-tier Premier League clubs. Van Drongelen seems cut out for English football; a tough, resilient defender who excels at aerial duels and challenges on the ball.

Rick van Drongelen

Premier League destination
With Marko Arnautovic, Bruno Martins Indi and Erik Pieters, Stoke have enjoyed the services of the more physical Eredivisie talents from past years. Van Drongelen could be the next one.

Next: Poch's perfect future middle man