Now that current Holland coach Louis Van Gaal has finally been confirmed as Manchester United manager, the club can now look forward and move onto some transfer business.
Van Gaal is renowned for buying Dutch players and has already been strongly linked to Bayern winger Arjen Robben and Roma’s Kevin Strootman. Whilst they would be great signings, both also seem a little unrealistic at the moment.
It’s hard to imagine Bayern being willing to sell their star man Robben and a deal for Strootman seems to soon as he is not expected to be fit again until September/October after a bad knee injury. So instead, we take a look at five possible Dutch players who Van Gaal could target this summer.
With the futures of wingers Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia and Nani in the balance, it would be no surprise to see United sign a new wide player this summer and Van Gaal could do a lot worse than sign 20-year-old PSV Eindhoven winger Memphis Depay. The youngster plays mainly from the left but can also play up front and is a very exciting talent.
Depay is a very fast, tricky dribbler and is well known for his long shots and precise free-kicks. He has scored 18 goals from his 60 appearances for PSV, a very decent tally for a winger and he will he going to Brazil this summer as a part of Van Gaal’s squad.
“The pass was what made the goal, I think it was more beautiful than the finish itself.”
Robin Van Persie was full of praise for his Dutch teammate Clasie after the midfielder’s superb assist for his goal in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Ecuador. It was an inch perfect long ball and something that Clasie is becoming widely recognised for.
He is a key player for Feyenoord and is loved for his tenacity, hard work and tackling ability but he is also a very able passer of the ball and has even been labelled by some in Holland as the ‘Dutch Xavi’ due to his wide passing range. The 22-year-old is very mature for his age and with Kevin Strootman out injured he could well be an important player for the national team this summer. Clasie’s game is well suited for the Premier League and he could be a bargain buy if he fulfills his potential.
Bruno Martins Indi
With United in need of a new centre-back this summer, it wouldn’t be a big surprise if Van Gaal opted to move for Feyenoord’s defensive rock Martins Indi. The defender has been a near constant in Van Gaal’s Dutch team selections and although he plays at centre-back for his country, he’s a regular at left-back for his club side. At 22, he is still not the finished article but he has good experience already with 13 Dutch caps to his name and over 100 appearances in the Eredivise.
Touted by many as ‘the next Philip Lahm’ due to his intelligence and tactical awareness, Blind has fast become a key player for Dutch champions Ajax.
Son of Ajax legend and Van Gaal’s Holland no.2 Danny Blind, Daley had a stuttering start to his career but has come of age in the past two seasons. Astute at both left-back and defensive midfield, he’d be a great asset to have in any squad and is reportedly a target for many European clubs this summer.
Nigel De Jong
Some might find this an odd choice to link with United but he could be a very shrewd acquisition. At 29, the AC Milan midfielder is no spring chicken but with United losing some experienced players this summer, he would be a good head to have in the dressing room and on the pitch where he leads by example, working tirelessly for the team and putting his body on the line.
Although he is nicknamed ‘The Terrier’ due to his tough tackling and never-say-die attitude, De Jong is also a very good possession player and had the Premier League’s highest pass completion rate when he played for Manchester City in the 2010/2011 season, where he completed an impressive 90% of his passes. He could be a very clever signing.