The 20/21 Eredivisie season begins this Friday and we will preview the expectations of each Eredivisie club. In this article, we look at Willem II.

Last season’s surprise package, Willem II are looking to build on an excellent campaign that saw them finish fifth and claim a place in the Europa League.

Willem II has managed to add strength to their squad and Adrie Koster’s side has a European campaign to look forward to. Can they maintain their place in the top five, or will Utrecht and Vitesse catch up with the Tricolores?

Transfers

Willem II have managed to keep hold of many of their stars this summer but goalkeeper Timon Wellenreuther has departed for Anderlecht, while Damil Dankerlui moved to Groningen. No other key players have departed, expect a number of loanees.

Robbin Ruiter has been signed from PSV as a replacement for Wellenreuther, while Jorn Brondeel can also challenge for the number one shirt.

Leeroy Owusu comes in from De Graafschap but the two big signings have been made from Bayern Munich’s U23 side. Defender Derrick Kohn, and striker Kwasi Wriedt. The latter was top scorer in the German third division last season and could take the Eredivisie by storm.

The Head Coach

The 65-year-old experienced head coach Adrie Koster has done a wonderful job since being named Willem II boss in 2018.

He has turned the club from relegation battlers to European challengers, and has moulded a team that can shock the top four and is very tough to beat.

Key Player

New striker Kwasi Wriedt joins with big excitement in the club’s fanbase after he finished top scorer for Bayern Munich’s U23’s last season. He is a strong and powerful striker that is good in the air and with his feet. Once he is back fit he could be an outside bet for the top scorer crown.

Captain Jordens Peters had an excellent season at the back and will once again be key to his club’s campaign.

Young Players to watch

Che Nunnely’s (21) decision to leave Ajax last summer for Willem II looks to be a smart one with the speedy winger excelling in Tilburg last season.

Midfielder Mike Tresor Ndayishimiye (21) was a revelation last season, along with forward Vangelis Pavlidis (21), who was top scorer with eleven league goals.

Also keep an eye out for young midfielder Rick Zuijderwijk (19) who was linked with a move to Barcelona last season.

Pre-season

Willem II has only managed to complete four pre-season ties, but they are unbeaten in them. A win against VVV-Venlo (2-1) was followed up with draws against PSV Eindhoven (1-1), AA Gent (1-1), and Team VVCS (2-2)

Strongest line-up

Ruiter, Owusu, Kohn, Peters, Holmen, llonch, Ndayishimiye, Saglam, Kohlert, Nunnely, Pavlidis/Wriedt

Predicted finish

Nobody would have predicted that Willem II would have had such an impact last season and the club’s squad is arguably stronger this time around with the addition of Wriedt up front.

Willem II will be aiming to have a run in the Europa League and once again book a place in the top six at least. With the attacking talent present in the squad the club will definitely be looking at top seven, but don’t right them off from shocking again in the race for fifth.




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