There have been many stand-out performers in the Eredivisie, particularly from league leaders Feyenoord and close chasers Ajax. To warm you up after the winter break, here is Football Oranje’s team of the season thus far.

  • By Michael Statham
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Goalkeeper: André Onana

The Cameroonian has stepped comfortably into Jasper Cillessen’s boots following the Dutchman’s move to Barcelona in the summer. Onana was expected to be the number two this season behind Tim Krul, but even though the Newcastle loanee has returned to fitness after a long term injury, Onana continues in goal, where he has kept a league high of eight clean sheets to date.

Right-back: Rick Karsdorp

There’s a reason why Manchester United are tracking Karsdorp. His bombing runs from full-back are poignant in Feyenoord’s dominant style of play and his crossing ability has seen the Netherlands international chip in with three assists this season. Karsdorp’s defending has also improved from this time last year.

Centre-back: Davinson Sánchez

It’s often difficult to adapt to European football, but Sánchez hasn’t found his move from Athlético Nacional much of a problem. Comfortable on the ball and commanding in the air, the Colombian deserves recognition for his rapid development and growing leadership in what was a shaky Ajax defence back in August.

Centre-back: Eric Botteghin

The Brazilian is like a rock in the heart of Feyenoord’s defence. His leadership has united a defence that has only conceded twelve times this season without the injured regular centre-back Sven van Beek.

Left-back: Ridgeciano Haps

The 23-year-old is having another very consistent season. His agile physicality matches the role, making over three tackles per game and speeding up the left-wing on every possible occasion to supplement AZ’s attack.

Centre-midfield: Karim El Ahmadi

The former Aston Villa midfielder seems to be aging like fine wine. The Morroccan is nearly 32 but is playing some of his best football.

El Ahmadi is often a lawnmower in Feyenoord’s midfield by breaking up opposition play, whoscored says he makes over three key tackles per game.

Not only that, his passing is confident and his goal threat has increased, having already netted five times in all competitions.

Centre-midfield: Davy Klaassen

The Dutch international is now nearing his 24th birthday but still insists he wants to offer plenty more in an Ajax shirt before a move away from the Netherlands.

Klaassen has become one of the league’s leading lights, with a goal ratio of one in every two matches this season in all competitions.

Attacking-midfield: Jens Toornstra

Despite rumours of a move to Germany in the summer, Jens Toornstra has since refound the form that first attracted a move from Utrecht to one of the Eredivisie giants.

This season, the 27-year-old has offered seven assists and netted five times, showing a much more industrious playing style.

Attacking midfield: Sam Larsson

Arguably out-growing his team’s potential, Sam Larsson is ripe for a move away from Heerenveen. We are truly lucky to still have such a marvellous player in the Eredivisie.

His seven goals and five assists so far this season have rocketed his side to an unexpected fourth place at the half-way stage.

Larsson has trickery, pace and a great shot to add to his intelligent footballing brain.

Striker: Kasper Dolberg

The Dane has blown barricades away this season in terms of expectation and progress for his age.

The 19-year-old is one of the league’s top goal-scorers despite only emerging into the first team this season thanks to injuries and irreplaced outgoings in the summer.

There are faint reminders of former Ajax legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his slightly arrogant playing style, physicality and finishing ability. Dolberg fully deserves to be in this XI.

Striker: Nicolai Jørgensen

Since Graziano Pellè left Feyenoord in 2014, the current league leaders searched for a new potent target man. The Dane looks to have filled it, contributing league 12 goals and six assists up to now.

Bench:

Kostas Lamprou – The Willem II ‘keeper suffered a poor start to the season but has put his mistakes behind him to help keep four clean sheets in his last five matches.

Jeremiah St Juste – Despite Heerenveen being a fairly open side defensively, St Juste has shown very good development this campaign. He’s decent on the ball as well as winning it back, and scored a memorable goal seconds after his boot fell off a couple of months ago.

Stijn Schaars – Schaars is arguably one of the main reasons for Heerenveen’s stunning form these last few months. The 32-year-old has added experience and steel to the midfield as well as a good eye for a pass.

Lasse Schöne – The Danish midfielder has adapted very well to a new CDM role where he can influence play from deep.

Sébastien Haller – Another solid scoring season from Haller has again seen bigger clubs sniffing. His wonderful skill and coolness in front of goal have rightfully earnt attention.

 

1617-team-season-so-far




Michael Statham (445 Posts)

Writer/interviewer/YouTuber for Football-Oranje. Massive Dutch football fan from the UK. Follow me @EredivisieMike & subscribe to Football-Oranje on YouTube.