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Eredivisie transfers so far

July 19, 2011

It’s been almost halfway through the transfer period and the Dutch clubs have been quite active buying and selling players. The season will start soon and here is a recap on the current status of the Top 3 and Feyenoord.

The dent in the silverware was still fresh when they bought the best Eredivisie player of last season, Theo Janssen, from FC Twente. It is considered a big coup for Ajax. Janssen – who smokes, drinks beer, and is 29 years old – when on form is one of the best left-footed midfielders in the country. With him in the midfield Ajax will only get better. His arrival meant that Demy de Zeeuw was going to get less minutes so he packed his bags for Russian Rubles at Spartak Moscow.

Ajax also bought the talented young Icelandic striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson from AZ to replace the sulking Mounir El Hamdaoui. Further reinforcements came with Thulani Serero, voted best South African player of last season; Mats Rits, the talented Belgian from Beerschot; and Derk Boerrigter, who won last season Jupiler League with RKC.

So far Maarten Stekelenburg, Jan Vertonghen and Gregory van der Wiel are still at the club despite interest. I reckon either Stekelenburg or Vertonghen will leave but Frank de Boer has already mentioned offering them new contracts to keep them longer (or get more money should they leave). With them Ajax will be much better than they were last year.

And with some of the big paid players leaving, it frees out more cash for Ajax to spend.

In: Theo Janssen (FC Twente), Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (AZ Alkmaar), Thulani Serero (Ajax Cape Town), Derk Boerrigter (RKC Waalwijk), Mats Rits (Germinal Beerschot).

Out: Demy de Zeeuw (Spartak Moscow), Sergio Padt (AA Gent), Rob Wielaert (Roda JC), Oleguer (out of contract), Timothee Atouba (out of contract), Evander Sno (out of contract), Hyun-Jun Suk (FC Groningen), Mitchell Donald (Roda JC), Florian Josefzoon  and Roly Bonevacia (both on loan to NAC Breda), Marvin Zeegelaar (Espanyol B), Rasmus Lindgren (Red Bull Salzburg), Dario Cvitanich (on loan to Boca Juniors)

Back from loan: Jan-Arie van der Heijden (Willem II), Ismail Aissati (Vitesse)

Will leave: Mounir El Hamdaoui, Ismail Aissati

On the radar: Matthew Amoah (NAC Breda)

FC Twente
The season ended in disappointment for the Tukkers. Even though they won the Cup, they lost the championship in the last match against Ajax. Then Ajax bought their best player and coach Michel Preud’homme chose to follow oil money in Saudi Arabia. FC Twente signed uber-disciplinarian Co Adriaanse as head coach and are busy looking for players to strengthen the squad (and also players to get rid of). So far Willem Jansen and Tim Cornelisse have joined but they are still looking for a replacement of Theo Janssen.

Their two most wanted players, Bryan Ruiz and Douglas, are still wanted by other clubs. It looks like Ruiz might leave as he has been saying that for a while. Douglas will probably stay.

In: Willem Jansen (Roda JC), Tim Cornelisse (FC Utrecht)

Out: Theo Janssen (Ajax)

Will probably leave: Bryan Ruiz

Will probably join: Leroy Fer (Feyenoord)

PSV Eindhoven
PSV could have ended the season in second place, where they would qualify for Champions League. Instead of winning they drew and ended up third with around €20M of debt. So first thing in order was to take care of this debt. Some players left, with Balazs Dzsudzsak the most noticeable. One of PSV best performers was sold to Anzhi Makhachkala for €14M. On top they also sold a couple of other players to close this €20M gap.

At the same time PSV approach the local community for a deal. PSV would sell them the grounds around the stadium for €48M cash and will then make rental payments to the local community for using this land. It took a while but the local community approved this deal and PSV became €48M richer. That same day they announced that they bought Kevin Strootman and Dries Mertens from FC Utrecht and Georginio Wijnaldum from Feyenoord.

With this extra cash injection PSV are still looking to strengthen the squad and will also want to get rid of their best-paid player, Orlando Engelaar, to give more financial space.

In: Dries Mertens (FC Utrecht), Kevin Strootman (FC Utrecht), Georginio Wijnaldum (Feyenoord), Khalid Sinouh (FC Utrecht)

Out: Balazs Dzsudzsak (Anzhi Makhachkala), Maza Rodriguez (VfB Stuttgart), Jagos Vukovic (Roda JC), Jeroen Zoet (RKC Waalwijk), Danny Koevermans (Toronto FC), Stef Nijland (NEC Nijmegen)

Might leave: Orlande Engelaar, Otman Bakkal, Ola Toivonen, Stanislav Manolev

On the radar: Mathias Jorgensen (FC Kopenhagen),

Sometimes I don’t know whether to laugh or to feel sorry for Feyenoord. The club is bankrupt and cannot buy players without external financing. Last season, the 0-10 hammering from PSV aside, it looks like they could be on the right track back again with their exciting young players. Unfortunately, with the financial situation they are in, any offer for a player they just have to accept. This is how they lost Luc Castaignos to Inter Milan and then Wijnaldum to PSV.

Then during pre-season the big news came. The players didn’t support coach Mario Been anymore so Been left abruptly. Now Feyenoord not only lost their two big players but also a coach who was guiding them back. So all back to square one. So far Louis van Gaal has said no and some names are mentioned (Ronald Koeman among them), but the reality is that Feyenoord can’t afford a big name coach.

Luckily they have this partnership with Excelsior where Feyenoord can stall players there. As Excelsior did quite well last year, Feyenoord passed by to pick up some players they stalled there like Guyon Fernandez and Jordy Clasie.

In: (Just players from Excelsior) Guyon Fernandez, Miquel Nelom, Jordy Clasie

Out: Georginio Wijnaldum (PSV), Luc Castaignos (Inter Milan), Tim de Cler (AEK Larnaca), Ryo Miyaichi (back to Arsenal), Kevin Hofland (AEK Larnaca), Andre Bahia (Samsunspor)

Will leave: Leroy Fer

Need: a new coach and money, lots and lots of money

I know that the transfer window is far from over and the activity so far for the Eredivisie has been quite high, so I am expecting more movements in the coming days and weeks.

Should the transfer period end today then Ajax and PSV will fight it out for the championship with FC Twente following closely behind, while Feyenoord will be in deep trouble. However, their troubles seems to be matched by Vitesse who doesn’t seem able to sign any player even though they are backed by big money. At least Vitesse has a coach though…

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