Six players that could be the Eredivisie’s next big exports this summer

Six players that could be the Eredivisie’s next big exports this summer
Kokcu and Simons are two of the Eredivisie's biggest stars
Kokcu and Simons are two of the Eredivisie's biggest stars
Many of the biggest stories in the last two transfer windows have involved Eredivisie players, and that looks set to be the case again this summer with plenty attracting interest from some of the world’s biggest clubs. 

Last summer, Manchester United splashed out on Ajax duo Lisandro Martinez and Antony, while PSV pair Cody Gakpo and Noni Madueke joined Liverpool and Chelsea respectively in January. 

Rumours are already swirling of numerous players following in their footsteps by making the move from the Netherlands' top division to one of Europe’s best in the coming months - here’s who are most likely to do so. 

Jurrien Timber

Ajax fans were resigned to losing Jurrien Timber (21) last summer with Erik ten Hag keen on taking his former player with him to Manchester United, but the defender ultimately stayed put. It would be a surprise to see him do so again this time around.

While he hasn’t had the best season at club level with Ajax in something of a crisis throughout, he showed at the World Cup that he’s a top defender already, and he’s only going to get better in the coming years.

Ten Hag reportedly remains interested in bringing his compatriot to Old Trafford, and there has been talk of Liverpool making a move for him too. With both sides lacking depth in that area, he’d immediately improve both backlines and is very much open to a new challenge.

“In my case everything is still open,” he told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. “Quite a lot is happening in the background in terms of interest. I will soon see what the concrete options are.”

Edson Alvarez

Edson Alvarez (25) looked set to leave Ajax at the end of January when he went on strike to force a move to Chelsea, but the Dutch club stood firm as they didn’t have time to sign a replacement. With that not being an issue in the summer window unless approaches aren’t made until deadline day, they’re likely to accept a big-money offer this time around. 

He’s developed into an elite holding midfielder since joining the Amsterdam side in 2019, keeping things ticking over in possession and doing the dirty work out of it. The Mexican’s not spectacular, but he’s rock-solid. 

Other clubs are interested, but it looks likely that he’ll join Borussia Dortmund, with the player and club already reportedly agreeing on personal terms. All that’s left is for the Bundesliga runners-up to agree a fee with Ajax, which will probably be around the €40million mark.

Ibrahima Sangare

Alvarez isn’t the only holding midfielder in the Eredivisie to have caught the eye in recent years with PSV’s Ibrahima Sangare (25), who Chelsea also tried and failed to sign in January, being arguably even more impressive. 

Like Alvarez, the Ivorian’s biggest strengths lie in the defensive areas of the game, but he’s got the passing, shooting and aerial ability to be dangerous going forward too and has become a real leader since joining PSV in 2020. 

Even his own club know that he’s outgrown them now, making moves for replacements, but where exactly he’ll leave for is not yet certain. PSG have been most heavily linked, but multiple English clubs are interested too.

With his release clause at a reasonable €37million, it’s only a matter of time before someone activates it. 

Orkan Kokcu

Feyenoord won the Eredivisie title with ease this season, and few players played as big a part in their triumph as captain Orkan Kokcu (22), who has emerged as arguably the best midfielder in the league. 

The Turkish international is a deep-lying playmaker who can create chances and score them himself - in the past two seasons, he’s racked up 21 goals and 14 assists - and is one of the best around at progressing play and moving his team forward. 

Arsenal reportedly see him as an ideal replacement for Granit Xhaka, while Liverpool are interested too as they look to revamp their midfield, and he’s made it clear that he wants to take such a step in the coming months. 

Speaking to ESPN, the midfielder said: “If the right club comes, I want to take a step this summer. This season I have taken the last step to be a decisive player for Feyenoord.”

Santiago Gimenez

Santiago Gimenez (22) has only spent a season in European football but has already impressed enough to attract interest from some of the continent’s biggest clubs. 

The Mexican striker struggled to find his feet initially at Feyenoord after signing from Cruz Azul but has been on fire since the turn of the year, getting 17 goals to help his side storm to the league title. 

With affordable top strikers proving hard to come by these days, that form has led to a number of European giants taking an interest in him including Tottenham, who could soon be looking for a replacement for Harry Kane. 

Given he only signed his contract last year, prying him away from Feyenoord will be difficult, but it seems likely that some will try. 

Xavi Simons

In his first full season of senior football, Xavi Simons (20) immediately became one of the most exciting talents in the world and arguably the best player in the Eredivisie, winning the golden boot in the process with 22 goals and nine assists in all competitions. Simply put, he’s the real deal.

The Dutchman is one of the best dribblers around, is a top finisher, has an eye for a pass and works as hard as anyone, all at the ripe old age of 20. Add in the fact that he can play in midfield or on either flank and he becomes one of the most appealing players around for pretty much any top club. 

So good has he been that he could leave PSV just a year after signing for them. He can go back to PSG if they activate a buy-back clause and he wants to return, while Arsenal have also been heavily linked with him. 

Deciding to spend another year as the top dog in Eindhoven is probably the most likely scenario, but a move elsewhere this summer is certainly not outside the realms of possibility.


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