After securing a mid-table finish in their first campaign back in the Eredivisie last season, Cambuur are looking to push on and possibly challenge the top ten this year.

  • By Michael Bell
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cambuurbfjdThe Leeuwarden based side enjoyed their first campaign back in the top flight since 2000, and finished in a respectable 12th place after never fearing being dragged into the relegation scrap. Coach Henk de Jong has had to do some rebuilding of his squad this summer, but after making some good signings, the club will be looking to consolidate themselves once again around the mid-table area.

Transfers:

Three of the clubs stars last season, Elvis Manu, Marcel Ritzmaier and Jody Lukoki were only on loan, and have all returned to their clubs. Ramon Leeuwin left on a free transfer to Utrecht, while Martijn van der Laan was sold to Groningen for €500,000.

No fewer than ten players have been brought into the club though, with winger Daniel de Ridder, midfielder Sander van de Streek, attacker’s Bob Schepers, and Furdjel Narsingh, defender Etienne Reijnen, and goalkeeper Jan Wouda all joining on free transfers. Young Manchester City midfielder Albert Rusnak comes in on loan, but the most exciting transfer though is that of Ajax attacker Dejan Meleg, who is rented until the end of the season, and could have a major impact at the club.

Pre-season:

Cambuur have had a successful pre-season, winning six, and drawing one of their seven matches. Amateur side’s ONB and FVC were seen off 9-0, and 8-0, before a 5-2 hammering of De Graafschap, and a 4-1 beating of Almere City. Cambuur then held Greed side PAOK to a 1-1 draw before beating Volendam 2-1, and finishing their preparations with a 4-1 win over Emmen.

Strongest Cambuur XI: Nienhuis, Pereira, Reijnen, Dijkstra, Bijker, Bakker, El Makrini, Rusnák, De Ridder, Barto, Meleg

Key Players:

Martijn Barto: The tall striker proved to be a handful for defences last season, with Barto netting eight times during the campaign. With service set to come from the hugely talented Dejan Meleg, and experienced Daniel de Ridder, Barto will be hoping to net double figures this season.

Mohamed El Makrini: Cambuur are set to line-up this season with a number of young players in the midfield, and it will be up to El Makrini to keep them focused. The 27-year-old had an impressive campaign last year, making 31 appearances, and scoring once.

Young Players to Watch:

Dejan Meleg: The young Serbian is regarded as a huge talent by Ajax, and has been allowed to join Cambuur in order to gain regular first team football this season. The 19-year-old winger was top scorer for Jong Ajax in the Eerste Divisie last season with 12 goals, and could make a real difference in the Cambuur attack.

Prediction:

Cambuur may have lost the three influential loan players, who were key to them staying up so comfortably last season, but i think coach Henk de Jong has made some terrific signings this summer. The addition of experience like Daniel de Ridder, and Ettiene Reijnen will prove useful, while Dejan Meleg has the potential to be a superstar for the club. Signs in pre-season have been good, and on paper Cambuur have a side that should be far too good to go down. I can see them just improving on last years 12th place finish.

My Prediction: 10-11th

 




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