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07-13-2009, 09:53 AM
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Ajacied
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The Eredivisie 2008/2009 season ended a little while ago so here's another edition of the top prospects of the Eredivisie.

I've used all types of criteria's in the past. I've often included big, young and hyped prospects. Prospects who had yet to make a single appearance. I found it extremely hard to rate and rank them between the more proven talents. In order to be more accurate, I will go for stability from here and and use the following criteria:

In order to be eligible for the list, the player must..

.. have been born on or after 01-01-1986.
.. have at least 10 games behind his belt.

Players on loan abroad (ie Ryan Donk - WBA) are not rated.

Onto the list. This year's generation is solid, but far from spectacular. For comparison, have a quick peek at the list and then check 2004 (Kalou, van der Vaart, Heitinga, Sneijder, van Persie, de Jong, Robben, Stekelenburg, etc.). It's a diversed group of players from all over the globe, who'll sooner or later become (super)stars, if some aren't already. If 2004 was a 10, this year's crop will be a 6 or a 7. What it lacks in a high end talent, it makes up for with it's depth.

Here goes..

==============================================
Grade definition:

A) Already reached or near his potential.
B) Sure fine bet to reach his potential
C) On the right track to reach his potential, but needs a little seasoning.
D) Needs a season or two, maybe three, before reaching his potential and/or chance of scenery.
E) Unlikely to reach his potential (injuries, attitude, etc.).
F) It’s nearly a certain bet that he won’t reach his full potential for various reasons.


Number definition:

10) Legend. A player you’ll only see once or twice in a lifetime. These are players who singlehandedly make teams a threat to win prices. (think Pele, Maradonna, Cruijff, Beckenbauer, Yashin).

09) Superstar. Players who have exceptional talent and are considered (among) the best of their position. Players who are covetted by every big team in Europe (think Ibrahimovic, Terry, Buffon).

08) Star. Players who come up just short for the superstar tag. Could play for every big team in Europe, but he won’t lead nor bring his team to new heights (think Makaay, Camoranesi, Mertesacker, Frey).

07) Quality player/role player. A player who lacks the talent to play for the big teams but does more than addequately for a slightly lesser team (think Petric, Carrick, Mathijsen, Reina). Also quality roleplayers (Vennegoor, Crouch, Gatusso).

06) Above average player. Players capable of handling duties for a midtable team but shouldn’t be asked more than that (think Diouf, Jaliens, Abbondanzieri).

05) Average/useful player. Players who proof their worth for average teams by filling certain needs. These are players with a limited skill set.

04) Below average player. Players whoms career mostly consist out of relegation football.

03) Mediocre player. Players who have difficulties keeping up while playing for the lower teams.

02) Horrible player. Players not fit for any of the big European leagues.

01) You’re not in the right sport, my friend. Players who play for relegation teams in sub-par leagues.
==============================================

.. the rest of the list:

65) Calvin Jong-A-Pin 5.3C
64) Milano Koenders 6.7D
63) Donavan Slijngard 5.0C
62) Tarik Elyounoussi 6.4D
61) Luuk de Jong 6.0C
60) Kees Luijckx 5.9C
59) Evander Sno 5.2B
58) Gerson Sheotahul 5.9B
57) Stijn Wuytens 6.4C
56) Kebin Leerdam 7.2D
55) Dominque Kivuvu 6.8C
54) Keisuke Honda 7.0D
53) Jens Janse 6.1D
52) Jordy Buijs 6.0C
51) Jeffrey Sarpong 7.4D
50) Michael Svec 6.3B
49) Arnar Smárason 6.3C
48) Erik Pieters 6.3C
47) Barry Mcguire 6.0C
46) Danny Holla 6.5B
45) Melvin Platje 6.4C
44) Rydell Poepon 6.3C
43) Stefan Nijland 7.4D
42) Geert Arend Roorda 7.4E
41) Siem de Jong 6.8C
40) Daryl Janmaat 6.9C
39) Paulo Henrique 7.0C
38) Slobodan Rajkovic 7.3D
37) Nicky Kuipers 7.6D
36) Casio Ramos 7.0C




The suitable club range part, which each of the top 35 players has, indicates the club potential of that certain player. It are teams the player in question could very well play for someday.

For footage, please visit youtube.com.



Just missing the boat:



35) Vurnon Anita 8.3F

Position: CM
Club: Ajax
Nationality: Holland
Born: 04-04-1989

It’s hard to believe Vurnon Anita was actually number one on my list a year or two ago. Anita was a major prospect back then but growth issues and injuries have him now at #35. Actually broke through this season, playing 16 games, most even as a starter. Mostly due to Anita’s versatility, he was always a handy presence. Yet playing as a controlling CM, Anita’s game isn’t anything like it was when playing for the youth teams. His quickness and technique are still there but hardly utilized when playing down low in a neutral role. Add his size (1.66) and Anita’s career as a CM isn’t looking all that promising. His potential remains high, but in order for him to come even near that is to start focussing on the AM position and become stronger physically. I honestly don’t know what to expect or where he’ll eventually end up. He had a lot of teams chasing him a while ago, the most recent being Arsenal and Tottenham but I don't expect him to make a step abroad any time soon when he isn't even a starter for Ajax. His window is closing rapidly.

2008/2009 stats: 0 goals – 0 assists (16 games)
Suitable club range: Could be anywhere, from a respected English side to a midtable Eredivisie team.
Compares to: Steven Pienaar


34) Hector Moreno 7.2D

Position: CB
Club: AZ
Nationality: Mexico
Born: 17-01-1988

Strong but diciplined two-way defender. Basically Carlos Salcido with offensive abilities. Is a great fit in van Gaal's attacking system due to his calmness, smarts, passes and ability to build up. Never stops running and always gives 100% which has lead to the nickname: El Tractor. One of the most underrated players in the Eredivisie. Only played 15 games this season due to injuries, but he has shown to own some interesting upside for Mexcio as well.

2008/2009 stats: 0 goals – 0 assists (15 games)
Suitable club range: Midtable club - England/Spain/Italy.
Compares to: Carlos Salcido


33) Jermaine Lens 7.0D

Position: LW/RW
Club: AZ
Nationality: Holland
Born: 24-11-1987

Lens was always seen as an intriguing prospect due to his speed and offensive drive but he didn’t show what he got untill last year, where he made a lot of noise with NEC, while on loan. The Ajax cast away found it hard to break into a well-oiled AZ attack and had injury problems to top it of. It marked a difficult season for Lens after a very promising 2007/2008 round up. He didn’t come further than a handful of substitution appearances and it automatically raises the question whether he will still play for AZ next season. I hope he does or choses another Eredisivie side as he still has to proof his 2008 season wasn’t a fluke. A strong season (read: playing time) could move him up by quite a bit on the next list.

2008/2009 stats: 1 goal – 1 assist (8 games)
Suitable club range: Lower teams - England/Spain/Italy. Subtop - Germany.
Compares to: Obafemi Martins


32) Cheik Ismael Tioté 6.9B

Position: DM
Club: FC Twente
Nationality: Ivory Coast
Born: 21-06-1986

Tioté is that other African DM. An Anderlecht product, now playing for Twente and with good odds of playing in the CL next year. Tioté is a fast, athletic, ballfighter. He isn’t as solid positionally as Enoh, but Tioté is much less of a liability with the ball, even though his offensive statistics are inferiour to Enoh. Has a good technique for a DM and with a little more upper body strenght, I think Tioté could take the next step and put his name on the map. I think he’s ripe to fully start for Twente or even make a step abroad. France seems a suitable league for him at this stage as he should be tested more often there. The Eredivisie isn’t the best league for a DM as most of the battles and runs are on the wings. He needs more physical challenges.

2008/2009 stats: 0 goals – 0 assists
Suitable club range: Top team - France. Midtable/lower half - England.
Compares to: Lassane Diara


31) Luigi Bruins 7.2D

Position: AM
Club: Feyenoord
Nationality: Holland
Born: 09-03-1987

A quality player who’s value dropped a little over the course of the season. Mostly due to the surroundings of a stinking team but also because of the sudden rise of Wijnaldum, Fer and Biseswar, which made him a benchwarmer for much of the season. Bruins is a streaky player. He can be invisable if you play him tight but really comes into his own if he gets any room. Finds openings easily and knows where to be positionally. Quiet playmaker with an underrated shot.

2008/2009 stats: 1 goal – 0 assists (20 games)
Suitable club range: Midtable - England/Spain.
Compares to: Guti


The top 30 Eredivisie prospects:



30) Ola Toivonen 7.1B

Position: Striker
Club: PSV
Nationality: Sweden
Born: 03-07-1986

Toivonen joined PSV during the winterbreak. Not the best of times as the club just parted ways with coach Huub Stevens. Yet Toivonen arrived and showed he didn’t need much of an adaption period. He pretty much took over from Koevermans and Lazovic as PSV’s leading striker from the get go. Has already drawn comparisons to Ibrahimovic, which I think are legit but limited. He isn’t nearly as skilled, but the two share some mutual aspects. Both are tall, both are physical and both are Swedish strikers. The comparison ends there. He doesn’t owe half of Ibrahimovic’ talent but he should round out into a fairly decent striker, if he isn’t one already.

2008/2009 stats: 6 goals – 3 assists (14 games)
Suitable club range: Midtable - England/Spain/Italy
Compares to Ibrahimovic.


29) Ricky van Wolfswinkel 7.7D

Position: Striker
Club: Vitesse
Nationality: Holland
Born: 27-01-1989

Was brought up to the A-squad last year after scorching the youth competitions and hasn’t looked back. Was looked upon to replace Huntelaar. Ricky is a fast striker who's still a very raw product. Is a lightweight but can go far under proper guidance. Earned himself a starting spot this year, now it’s up to him to start scoring (5 in 21 so far). Won’t play for Vitesse next year and you can quote me on that. AZ or Twente are likely destinations.

2008/2009 stats: 8 goals – 1 assist
Suitable club range: Midtable - England/Spain
Compares to: Roy Makaay
___________________________________________

EDIT: Moved to FC Utrecht for €5 million.
___________________________________________


28) Sebastian Pocognoli 7.5D

Position: Left back
Club: AZ
Nationality: Belgium
Born: 01-08-1987

Pocognoli had a strong 2008 campaign but is now rather overshadowed by some of his teammates who are getting most of the credit (El Hamdaoui, Ari, Dembélé, de Zeeuw, Romero). Yet, he's arguably a top 3 leftback in the Eredivisie already. Strong both ways. Pocognoli plays with a lot of emotion and has grown as a player every season. It makes it hard for me to judge his potential, but if he keeps on progression like he is now, he could become a very good left back for any European team.

2008/2009 stats: 2 goals – 0 assists
Suitable club range: Top - England/Spain/Italy.
Compares to: Gabriel Heinze


27) Jonathan de Guzman 8.0D

Position: Attacking midfielder
Club: Feyenoord
Nationality: Holland/Canada
Born: 13-09-1987

Hasn't showed much of anything for nearly 1.5 years now. Is currently recovering from a pretty serious injury and likely needs to get his ass out of Rotterdam once he gets healthy as his position has been filled better then he did it. Competition has gotten far too stiff for him. Once a permier talent, he now has to win over his fans again. Outstanding player with the ball, but also solid without it. Is a versatile and useful player because of it. Also lethal on set plays.

2008/2009 stats: 0 goals – 0 assists (2 games)
Suitable club range: Midtable - England/Spain
Compares to: Ibrahim Afellay


26) Nordin Amrabat 7.1C

Position: Attacking midfielder
Club: PSV
Nationality: Holland
Born: 31-03-1987

Bursted onto the scene 1.5 years ago but is now having difficulties to outplay his competitors, altough his position is pretty stacked. Quality dribbler who lacks dicipline and high end speed, which he makes up for with a lot of cluthing and grabbing. Just when you’ve lost all faith in him, he passes 3 defenders and scores. Frustrating player to watch. I think his potential is limited.

2008/2009 stats: 5 goals – 5 assists
Suitable club range: Mid/low table - England. Midtable - Germany.
Compares to: Wayne Rooney


25) Lasse Schöne 7.1C

Position: CAM
Club: NEC
Nationality: Denmark
Born: 27-05-1986

A sleeper, but Schöne has been maginificent for NEC. NEC is often known for their complete team effort with no real standouts, but Lasse is usually standing out each and every game. Very good number 10. Plays a Dutch-like game. Deadly from long distance and reads the game well, making him a good passer. I think Schöne will be PSV’s number one target if Afellay leaves this summer, but could even make a step abroad right away. Schöne was named 'Gelderland player of the year', a province with clubs such as de Graafschap, NEC and Vitesse.

2008/2009 stats: 4 goals – 3 assists
Suitable club range: Mid/low table - England/Spain. Midtable - France/Germany.
Compares to: None


24) Sergio Romero 8.0D

Position: Goalkeeper
Club: AZ
Nationality: Argentina
Born: 22-02-1987

Somewhat overrated. Has kept his goal clean more than many other goalies in Europe, but he also isn't tested, nor put to the test very often. Definitely has elite potential, which he showcased during the WC20 and Olympic games, where he backed Argentina to the gold. Great reflexes and doesn’t do crazy things. Could become a star with more seasoning. Biggest flaw is his rebound control, but he gets better at that each and every game.

2008/2009 stats: 25 games – 18 clean sheets – GAA: 0.56
Suitable club range: Top team - England/Spain/Italy.
Compares to: Sebastien Frey


23) Eyong Enoh 7.4C

Position: DM
Club: Ajax
Nationality: Cameroon
Born: 23-03-1986

Ajax Cape Town product. I haven't seen such a ballfighter in the Eredivisie since Edgar Davids first laced them up more than a decade ago. Isn’t very big but more than makes up for it with his amazing attitute, positioning and strenght, making him Eredivisie's best pure DM. Draws simularities to Makalélé and Davids. Sometimes suprises with an offensive rush or a booming shot from the second line. One of two (African) DM’s on this list.

2008/2009 stats: 1 goal – 2 assists
Suitable club range: Midtable - Engand/Spain/Italy. Top - France.
Compares to: Claude Makalélé


22) Balázs Dzsudzsák 7.9E

Position: LW
Club: PSV
Nationality: Hungary
Born: 23-12-1986

Dzsudzsák is a nifty dribbler who has the ability to reach the backline almost on will. His follow up cross is outstanding and his right foot isn’t shabby, either. Making him a threat to go inside as well. It makes him hard to defend on one on one battles and nearly prevents the defense from playing one on one defense. Dzsudzsák is also a free kick specialist. He isn’t a safe bet to reach his potential as he has already been troubled with injuries during his young career and can be real streaky.

2008/2009 stats: 10 goals – 8 assists
Suitable club range: Midtable - England/Spain/Italy
Compares to: Arjen Robben


21) Kevin Strootman 7.6D

Position: DM/CM
Club: Sparta
Nationality: Holland
Born: 13-02-1990

He might have the best pair of feet in the Eredivisie. Outstanding (long range) passer. Smart, mature and already a leader. A brightspot on a team who often find themself on the wrong side of the scoresheet. Kevin is a two-way midfielder but has a strong urge to go forward and put his opponent under pressure. He makes it a fast tempo game. Strootman is one of the youngest players on the list, yet already has most most of the Eredivisie top chasing him, in particular champions AZ. His smooth passing and shooting 0draws simularities to Dutch legend Ronald Koeman, albeit as a DM.

2008/2009 stats: 2 goals – 3 assists
Suitable club range: Top - Germany. Midtable - England.
Compares to: Ronald Koeman


20) Claudimir Domingues de Souza 7.5D

Position: AM
Club: Vitesse
Nationality: Brazil
Born: 27-03-1988

Revelation for Vitesse this year. AM with a lot of danger. More of a passer than a scorer, he likes to make things happen and isn’t afraid to take the necessary risks. Has the speed to go on own runs and to create scoring oppertunities for his teammates. Needs to shoot more as he has been in wonderful scoring positions but prefers to pass it. It’s only his first full season in the Eredivisie, so expect more of him next season.

2008/2009 stats: 2 goals – 4 assists
Suitable club range: Top - Germany. Midtable Spain/Italy/England.
Compares to: Aimar


19) Leroy Fer 8.1D

Position: CM
Club: Feyenoord
Nationality: Holland
Born: 05-01-1990

Quality youngster who has gotten a boat load of responisbilities this year. Isn’t always used properly but is versatile enough to play at multiple positions. Is always eager to score, and therefor misses golden passing lanes by going for the shot himself. Relies more on strenght rather than skill. Can cover massive chunks on the pitch and switches quickly when getting ball possesion, which he often initiates. Fer has the potential to make Oranje in the near future, probably as a CM/DM. Fer reminds me of Patrick Viera in his younger days. He isn’t as tenacious and great in one on one battles, but the rest is very alike.Isn’t overl fast but compensates by being sound positionally and physical.

2008/2009 stats: 6 goals – 1 assist
Suitable club range: Midtable - England/Spain/Italy.
Compares to: Orlando Engelaar/Patrick Viera mix.


18) Douglas Franco Teixeira 7.3B

Position: CB
Club: Twente
Nationality: Brazil
Born: 12-01-1988

Hardnosed central back. He’s tall, lean and powerful. One of the reasons why Twente has been such a tough opponent the past two years. Could become a top notch CB if he continues to develop this way. Has an outstanding long ball, with which he racked up 3 assists already this season. Wanted by Ajax and several English, Italian and Spanish teams.

2008/2009 stats: 2 goals – 3 assists
Suitable club range: Teams such as HSV/Sevilla/Tottenham
Compares to: Ledley King


17) Miralem Sulejmani 8.2D

Position: LW
Club: Ajax
nationality: Serbian
Born: 05-12-1988

The most expensive intern Eredivisie transfer in history, Sulejmani moved to Ajax for nearly 17M last season (nearly 8M more than the runner up!). Loves to dribble, has a great cross and can score goals himself. Though I’m not convinced yet. IMO He needs a deeper arsenal of moves and needs to become stronger in order to reach the absolute top. Struggles with confidence and needs good complimentary players in order to get the most out of his potential. Had 15 goals and 10 assists last season yet is on a simular pace this year (7 goals – 7 assists in 21 games) despite injury problems. Has dissapeared even further when the teams got better. Frustrating player, but maybe it’s because people expect too much based on his transferfee. Could become Luis Suarez part II, or Andy van der Meyde part II. Time will tell. He did have an outstanding season for Heereveen last year which even made him win "talent of the year '07/'08".

2008/2009 stats: 8 goals – 7 assists (24 games)
Suitable club range: Between the subtop and the elite teams of England/Spain.
Compares to: less tricky, more predictable version of Luis Suárez.


16) Roy Beerens 7.4C

Position: Winger (R)
Club: Heerenveen
Nationality: Holland
Born: 22-12-1987

Winger is finally breaking out since joining Heerenveen. Still on the small side but he gets the job done. Has been contributing in most facets with Heerenveen this year, already has a handful of important goals while only trailing Luis Suarez for the league lead in assists. Is much like Lens, only Beerens is a better finisher and passer. His size and consistency are factors why he would likely fail in a bigger league. Could be a welcome adition for most midtable teams though.

2008/2009 stats: 9 goals – 10 assists
Suitable club range: Lower teams England/Spain. Subtop Germany.
Compares to: Jermaine Pennant


15) Marcus Berg 7.8C

Position: Striker
Club: Groningen
Nationality: Sweden
Born: 17-08-1986

Markus Berg must’ve checked the history books and decided that the Eredivisie would be the ultimate league to help start off your career if you're a Swedish striker. After Larsson, Allback, Nilsson, Ibrahimovic, Elmander and Markus Rosenberg all started out their careers in the Eredivisie, Berg did wise in doing so as well. I compare him to a poor-man’s Huntelaar as he can be so deadly in the box, but he also has the technique to create danger outside it. Isn’t strong, tall or extremely gifted, Berg is simply always at the right spot. Scores easily from in or outside the box. Was brought in to replace Suárez, and he is very succesful in doing so. Could win the scoring title this year, altough he isn’t much of a passer. Two footed, quality first touch, solid, all-round player with a very soft touch. Swedish international to boot. Berg recently finished the EC U21 tournament as the top scorer.

2008/2009 stats: 16 goals – 6 assists
Suitable club range: Everton, Fiorentina, HSV
Compares to: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

___________________________________________

EDIT: Moved to HSV for €11 million.
___________________________________________


14) Gregory van der Wiel 8.0C

Position: RB
Club: Ajax
Nationality: Holland
Born: 03-02-1988

Is progressing rapidly into the top RB of the Eredivisie. He’s the right back version of Emanuelson, only I think Gregory is defensively stronger, yet goes overboard offensively at times where he wants to do too much. Has the ability to pass 3 or 4 men in a single run and creates danger almost consistently. Will start for Oranje within 3 years and not look back. In fact, Van der Wiel made his offical debute vs Tunesia in February and has been called up for the two WC qualification games coming up.

2008/2009 stats: 2 goals – 3 assists
Suitable club range: Subtop England/Spain/Italy.
Compares to: Javier Zanetti


13) Ismael Aissati 8.6D

Position: CM/AM
Club: Ajax
Nationality: Holland
Born: 16-08-1988

First he couldn’t outperform Afellay at PSV, which stalled his progression. This year he has been sidelined for much of the season due to injuries for Ajax. His talent is undeniable, his calmness and error-less game makes him a unique player in the Eredivisie. But he needs to play and start performing soon or his progression and potential will take a serious hit. Might not reach the top due to this and because of the fact he could be too much of a lightweight Was named top midfielder of the 2006 EC U21 as the youngest player among all participants, but wasn’t selected much afterwards due to the same nagging injuries but also because he and respected coach Foppe de Haan somehow couldn’t get along, which brought up questionmarks regarding his attitude. He also forced a move to Ajax. Ajax has instantly become a much greater side since his return a few weeks back, being named MotM twice already. Aissati will direct the game and you just know he will do something positive with the ball once he has it.

2008/2009 stats: 1 goal – 1 assist (6 games)
Suitable club range: Subtop England/Spain/Italy
Compares to: Xavi Hernandez


12) Piet Velthuizen 8.7D

Position: Goalkeeper
Club: Vitesse
Nationality: Holland
Born: 03-11-1986

Somehow still in Arnhem, Velthuizen needs to move away as soon as possible. Vitesse might have the worst defense in the Eredivisie, letting Velthuizen do all the dirty work by himself. Still shocked why PSV didn’t get him after Gomes left or why Feyenoord is still having that twatt Timmer in goal when Velthuizen could be had for 5/7M. Velthuizen is great positionally and isn’t hasty. He is calm and steady, yet he’s quick and can make incredible saves.

2008/2009 stats: 31 games – 8 clean sheets – GAA: 1.33
Suitable club range: Subtop England/Spain/Italy.
Compares to: Iker Cassilas


11) Diego Biseswar 8.2D

Position: RM/RW
Club: Feyenoord
Nationality: Holland
Born: 08-03-1988

Trouble kid who is now seriously ****** the Eredivisie with his long range efforts. Had to leave Feyenoord last season after undiciplined behaviour, but is now tearing it up. Has a super shot, is very quick and always gets something done. Feyenoord’s approach is often rocketing it to the forwards where Biseswar will conquer it and use his pace to beat out his opponents. He needs to proof he can keep this up and work on his ballhandlings in order to take the next step. Oranje seems a little high right now as people still have questionmarks surrounding his attitude and consistency. He can be pretty useless on the pitch before suddenly scoring the game winner out of nowhere. He could be Andwele Slory V2, or develop into a mature player and actually furfill his potential.

2008/2009 stats: 7 goals – 6 assists
Suitable club range: Subtop England/Spain
Compares to: Theo Walcott


10) Kenneth Vermeer 8.1C

Position: Goalkeeper
Club: Ajax
Nationality: Holland
Born: 10-01-1986

Has (arguably) overtaken the title of best goalkeeping talent in the Eredivisie. Vermeer took over from Stekelenburg when he was down and made sure Ajax didn’t lose a single beat. In fact, Vermeer proved out to be the more athletic, faster, miracle save keeper than his teacher and it eventually lead to the definite take over as the number one goalkeeper for Ajax Amsterdam. Vermeer needs to work on his consistency and decision making some more in order for him to take the next step as it he can really mess it up, or stop impossible balls. Reminds me of Gomes or Menzo in that way. His best assests are his athletisism, speed and he’s also real fearless.

2008/2009 stats: 20 games - 10 clean sheets - GAA: 1.05
Suitable club range: Subtop England/Spain.
Compares to: A smaller Heurelho Gomes.



09) Eljero Elia 8.4C

Position: Winger (L)
Club: FC Twente
Nationality: Holland
Born: 13-02-1987

They say true 4-3-3 wingers are a dying breed, but Twente still has one and then some in Eljero Elia. Elia is a modern day winger with a lot of pace, strenght, technique and the ability to play the role of a set up man or a scorer. Elia plays with a lot of guts and a little sniff of flair. He can really be unstoppable once he gets in the game. His quickness and ability to move away from his opponents, with or without the ball, is probably his most dangerous weapon. Elia will make his Oranje debute this year, I’m sure of it. Already signed with an undisclosed club for the 2009/2010 campaign, hopefully it’s Ajax. Elia was recently named Eredivisie's talent of the year '08/'09.

2008/2009 stats: 9 goals – 4 assists
Suitable club range: Arsenal, Tottenham, HSV.
Compares to: Babel/Robinho mix
___________________________________________

EDIT: Moved to HSV for €9 million.
___________________________________________


08) Jan Vertonghen 8.0B

Position: CB/LB/LM/DM
Club: Ajax
Nationality: Belgium
Born: 24-04-1987

Crowd favorite, vice-captain, Ajax talent of the year 07/08, Verthongen has a lot going for him. An absolute rock defensively, Jan also has an outstanding offensive game. Outstanding long pass, powerful shot. Verthonghen plays a lot like Steven Gerrard when he starts at midfield. He can play LM, CM, DM, LB and CB, latter which he has often played this season. Very mature player for his age. Could be the foundation of any random strong team due to his waterproof two-way game and relentless attitude.

2008/2009 stats: 4 goals – 2 assists
Suitable club range: Liverpool, Valencia, Bayern
Compares to: Steven Gerrard


07) Marko Arnautovic 9.0D

Position: RW/AM/S
Club: Twente
Nationality: Austria
Born: 19-04-1989

If Zlatan Ibrahimovic were to clone himself, Marko Arnoutovic would be the result. The simularities between him and Marko are amazing. Fast, skillful, tall, strong and they love to make plays (and showboat) from standing position. They even have Croatian roots and look alike. Arnautovic will become a superstar if this season is any indication. Plays RW for Twente and is producing nicely. But his stats don’t even show a sniff of his true abilities. When on form, Arnoutovic might be one of the most difficult players to stop in the Eredivisie. Marko has been tagged as a problemchild though. He has the ‘street’ mentality and has already gotten into a few altercations on the pitch. He recently avoided a heavty suspension for calling Ibrahim Kargbo (Willem II) the ‘n’ word and than some. Yet, after Wijnaldum, I think Arnautovic has the highest ceiling of all the players on this list.

2008/2009 stats: 12 goals (10th) – 5 assists
Suitable club range: Internazionale, Chelsea.
Compares to: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

__________________________________________________ _______________

EDIT: Deal with Internazionale imminent for €13 million. First year could be on loan.
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06) Urby Emanuelson 8.0B

Position: LB/LM
Club: Ajax
Nationality: Holland
Born: 16-06-1986

Due to A) the emergence of both Vermaelen and Verthongen, two strong defenders and B) Emanuelson’s offensive qualities - Emanuelson has played the majority, if not the entire season, as the left side midfielder in a 4-3-3 year, where his offensive qualities have gotten a far better use. Any Ajax attack always goes through him. Emanuelson contributes a lot offensively due to his creative thinking, runs and passing ability and he gets his own chances due to smart combinations or long distance shots. Comes across as a nonchelant, enigmatic player, but really, really isn’t. He works hard and wants to become better and better each training. Developed a speciality in free-kicks.

2008/2009 stats: 4 goals - 7 asissts (9th).
Suitable clubs: Arsenal, Juventus, Valencia.
Compares to: None


05) Georginho Wijnaldum 9.0D

Position: (R)AM
Club: Feyenoord
Nationality: Holland
Born: 11-11-1990

Feyenoord revelation is already a shoe in to win Eredivisie’s talent of the year 08/09, which would make him the youngest winner to date. Is continuesly impressive on a piss poor Feyenoord squad. Goes on impressive runs and has the ability to turn hopeless situations into scoring oppertunities. Blessed with technique and the nerves to use it. His cross, acceleration and speed complete what’s arguably one of Europe’s biggest talents. Feyenoord should start all over and build around him, he’s that good.

2008/2009 stats: 4 goals - 4 asissts.
Suitable clubs: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea.
Compares to: Ronaldinho


04) Moussa Dembélé 8.9C

Position: Striker
Club: AZ
Nationality: Belgium
Born: 17-07-1987

Everyone knew Moussa was a talented player, the problem was that it didn’t always come out. Fought with a lot of consistency and motivational issues earlier in his career, but has really come into his own under van Gaal, altough he’s still prone to injuries. If he can stay healthy and continue his progression, Dembélé could someday reach his world class potential. He’s very strong on the ball which makes him nearly impossible to stop at full speed. Add his technique and calmess and you have some quality ingredients for a potential great one. He needs to shoot more though. For a striker with worldclass potential, he really isn’t scoring much.

2008/2009 stats: 10 goals – 1 assist
Most suitable clubs: Real Madrid, Arsenal, Internazionale.
Compares to: Adriano


03) Ibrahim Afellay 8.5B

Position: Attacking midfielder
Club: PSV
Nationality: Holland
Born: 02-04-1986

Still eligble for this list, which speaks volumes about his age and talent. Afellay’s career is going extremely well. Learnt alot under Cocu and is now ready to lead PSV himself. Is still the most targeted player of the Eredivisie so I don’t blame the nagging injuries he has to cope with over an entire season. A really elegant player who can affect the outcome of games singlehandedly. Where he used to hide himself during certain moments, Afellay now wants the ball in each and every situation. He has really matured over the years and has become a real leader, by example but he has also become much more vocal. Has 13 goals this season, tied for 3rd in the Eredivisie when deducting penalties. It shows a lot about his offensive potential considering the fact that he’s a midfielder. Outstanding player but I’m still hesitant about his eventual career abroad as I think he’s too much of a lightweight, altough he has become much stronger on the ball. Afellay recently stated that he prefers Spain above England.

2008/2009 stats: 13 goals (7th) - 4 asissts.
Most suitable leagues: Spain, England
Compares to: Kaka’
Suitable club range: Arsenal, Valencia, AC Milan.


02) Dirk Marcellis 8.2A

Position: CB
Club: PSV
Nationality: Holland
Born: 13-04-1988

I think the world of Marcellis and I don’t think placing him second is overrting him a single bit. Has the physical tools to take out his man and the general smarts to last under pressure. His nickname in Holland is “ijskonijn”, which means “ice-rabbit”, due to his stone cold nerves in each and every situation. Never hesitates, firm on the ball and a great header despite his stature. Isn’t anything worse than Alex, considering his age. Already been capped twice before his 20th birthday. Captained most national youth teams. Aside from heading, he’s not much of an offensive threat but that’s not his game anyway. Due to his calmness and physics, I think Marcellis is a safer bet to reach his potential than Afellay.

2008/2009 stats: 0 goals - 1 asisst.
Compares to: Alex Rodrigo Dias da Costa
Suitable club range: Liverpool


01) Luis Suárez 8.8A

Position: Attacking midfielder/winger
Club: Ajax
Nationality: Uruguay
Born: 24-01-1987

The true MVP of the Eredivisie. Suárez is usually talked about in a negative way due to his antics on the pitch. He probably dives more than any other player in the world, is a great actor and constantly screams for help. This year alone he has already gotten five yellowcards for diving and whining. Not to mention he forced a move to Ajax by going to arbitration a year earlier. He’s hated because of all this. Yet no one can deny his amazing skillset. Suárez is already a top 10 winger in the world. His dribbles are frequent and dangerous, he is eager to shoot as it is quick and unpredicatable, just like his runs. His actions are sometimes onorthodox, as if he’s nervous but he usually gets by his opponents at least a few times each game. His skillset and repertoire of moves is endless. Instead of being a one-way winger, Suárez actually defends well. His energy and workethic is outstanding, making him a valueble presence even when not scoring. Suárez could play for any elite team in Europe, perhaps as early as next year, but he has recently stated that he will only leave for the absolute top.

2008/2009 stats: 22 goals (2nd) – 14 assists (1st).
Compares to: Johan Cruijff.
Suitable club range: Any elite club in Europe


Last edited by Ajacied: 07-19-2009 at 12:57 PM.
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