After lifting the Eredivisie title for the first time since 2008, PSV Eindhoven will be looking to retain the championship this season, but can they do it without Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum?

  • By Michael Bell
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psv badPSV Eindhoven raced away with the Eredivisie title last season, finishing 17 points ahead of Ajax, after winning 29 of their 34 Eredivisie games, losing only four.

However star men from last season Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay have both moved on this summer, and with Ajax set to mount a serious challenge this season, can Phillip Cocu’s men retain their title, whilst looking to impress in the Champions League?

Summer Transfers

The PSV squad has been hit by three big departures this summer, with top scorer and left wing star Memphis Depay joining Manchester United, captain Georginio Wijnaldum moving to Newcastle United, while centre back Karim Rekik decided against a permanent move to Eindhoven after two years on loan, and decided to join Marseille.

However PSV have retained Jetro Willems and Luuk de Jong, while Andres Guardado and Nicolas Isimat-Mirin have made their loan deals permanent. Vitesse midfielder Davy Propper has joined as Wijnaldum’s replacement, while Simon Poulsen, Uruguayan youngster Gaston Pereiro and Belgian winger Maxime Lestienne have also joined.

The summer deals may not be over for the club, with PSV still looking to add another centre back to the squad, while Jurgen Locadia could be on his way out after admitting his unhappiness with a bit part role.

In: Davy Propper (Vitesse), Andres Guardado (Valencia), Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (Monaco), Gaston Pereiro (Nacional), Simon Poulsen (AZ), Luuk Kopmans (Oss), Nikolai Laursen (Brondby), Maxime Lestienne (Al-Arabi), Albert Gudmundsson (Heerenveen)

Out- Memphis Depay (Manchester United), Karim Rekik (returned to parent club Manchester City), Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle United), Abel Tamata (Groningen), Przemyslaw Tyton (Stuttgart), Zakaria Bakkali (Valencia), Mohamed Rayhi (NEC), Farshad Noor (released), Oscar Hiljemark (Palermo), Elvio van Overbeek (Go Ahead Eagles)

Pre-season

Pre-season has been mixed for the Eindhoven club, with wins over Dosko (6-0), Lyon (2-0) and FC Eindhoven (4-0), but defeats against Basel (3-2), Monaco (3-1) and Valencia (1-0).

However in the first competitive game of the season, PSV swept aside FC Groningen 3-0 to lift the Johan Cruijff Schaal, with Luuk de Jong looking in formidable form with two goals.

Strongest Line-up

Zoet, Arias, Willems, Bruma, Isimat-Mirin, Guardado, Propper, Maher, Narsingh, Pereiro, De Jong

Key Players

jetro willJetro Willems

Willems was outstanding at left back for PSV last season, excelling at the back whilst forming an almost unstoppable partnership with Memphis Depay going forward. The 21-year-old’s pace, trickery, and outstanding end product make him one of the most talented left backs in Europe, and PSV will be delighted that Willems is still in Eindhoven this season.

de jong adopsLuuk de Jong

After two tough years since leaving FC Twente, De Jong returned to Netherlands with PSV last season and regained his form by netting twenty league goals in 32 appearances. The 24-year-old is now set to captain PSV this season, and started his campaign in top form with two goals in the Johan Cruijff Schaal win against Groningen. De Jong is strong favourite to finish the season as Eredivisie top scorer.

0000 guarAndres Guardado

Guardado was an inspired signing when he joined PSV on loan from Valencia last summer, with the winger transformed into a controlling midfielder by Phillip Cocu with excellent results. The Mexican’s tackling capabilities, calmness on the ball and passing ability made him a fans favourite, and PSV quickly turned his loan into a permanent deal. After an excellent summer with the Mexican national team at the Gold Cup, Guardado is set to play a key role in PSV’s season.

maher psv adAdam Maher

Maher joined PSV two years ago from AZ Alkmaar as one of Netherlands biggest talents, but has yet to show his top form in Eindhoven. Now with Wijnaldum gone, Maher will take over the role as number ten in the side and needs to finally prove he is the player that many expected him to be when he burst onto the scene at AZ. The season has already started well for the 22-year-old with an excellent goal against Groningen in the Johan Cruijff Schaal on Sunday.

Youngster to watch

bergwijn psvSteven Bergwijn

Bergwijn has been a star in the PSV academy over the past few years, and was named as player of the tournament at the 2013 U17 European Championships. Now the 17-year-old is on the verge of the PSV first team, and is one of the players being considered to replace Memphis Depay on the left wing. A hugely talented winger, Bergwijn possesses excellent pace, trickery, and vision.

Prediction

Last season Ajax lost key players and failed to retain their Eredivisie title, and this summer it was PSV’s turn to have their squad raided. The importance of Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum to the title win last season cannot be understated, and the Eindhoven club will definitely struggle to replicate the ease at which they stormed to the top of the table.

However with Ajax showing in the Champions League qualifiers that they have not yet learned their lesson defensively from last season, PSV will begin the season as the favourite. Luuk de Jong looks in good form, Jetro Willems is still at the club, and a midfield trio of Guardado, Propper and Maher looks formidable on paper. If Phillip Cocu can balance Champions League action with the Eredivisie then PSV should once again be triumphant this season, but it will be a lot closer.

Predicted position: Eredivisie champions




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