With the weeks counting down to the start of the new Eredivisie season, Michael Statham takes a look at the deals that have been completed so far by clubs in the Netherlands, and which teams still need to strengthen their squads before September’s return.

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike

All information correct as of 23rd July 2020.

ADO Den Haag: squad refreshed

ADO have been one of the Netherlands’ busiest clubs this summer, with seven key signings so far. A bunch of English-club loanees and out-of-contract players have followed Alan Pardew out of the Hague. ADO have pressed the refresh button by bringing in some younger players: Boy Kemper (defender, Ajax), Kees de Boer (midfielder, Swansea), Emilio Estevez (attacking midfielder, York 9 FC) and Amar Catic (forward, PSV). Free transfers Luuk Koopmans (goalkeeper, PSV), Samy Bourard (midfielder, Eindhoven) and Peet Bijen (centre-back, Twente) help bolster the spine of the team.

ADO have certainly added some interesting new players into what was becoming a stale squad, but they will still need more quality attacking players to finish their summer business and avoid another relegation-threatened season.

Ajax: no more big departures…yet

Hakim Ziyech has finally departed Amsterdam, leaving a huge glut of goals to replace. However, no other key players have left the club yet; André Onana, Nico Tagliafico and Donny van de Beek may be waiting for England to finish its season before the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United come calling.

Ajax have completed three signings: exciting attacking midfielder Antony, Maarten Stekelenburg is the new back-up goalkeeper, and 19-year-old Mohammed Kudus is the most recent arrival from Danish side Nordsjaelland.

Marc Overmars spoke of Ajax signing a ‘Champions League level’ attacking player during this summer; was Kudus this player? We’ll have to wait and see what Ajax will need to do over the next month or two.

AZ Alkmaar: no news is good news

Like Ajax, AZ simply want to keep hold of their excellent young squad for another year. The Alkmaar side wish to push for the Eredivisie title this year; keeping the likes of Boadu, Stengs and Wijndal will be important. Oussama Idrissi is the only player who wishes to leave Alkmaar.

Hobbie Verhulst is the new back-up goalie, and right-back Yukinari Sugawara has penned a permanent deal. Another centre-back will be needed following Stijn Wuytens’ exit. Volendam’s Micky van de Ven, Huddersfield’s Terence Kongolo and Norrköping’s Filip Dagerstal are three defenders in AZ’s sights.

FC Emmen: attacking players needed

A total of 14 players left either for free or because of the end of their loans. Emmen will also be desperate to keep the likes of Sergio Peña to push for another impressive Eredivisie campaign. Two signings have been made so far: Caner Cavlan returns as the club’s left-back and Lucas Bernadou is a young midfielder from PSG’s reserves. Karim Frei is being targeted to return after his successful loan.

Feyenoord: done and dusted?

Signings Mark Diemers (attacking midfielder, Fortuna Sittard) and Bryan Linssen (left-winger, Vitesse) present two decent options for Feyenoord next season, whilst Christian Conteh (winger, St Pauli) is one for the future. Defenders Ié, Karsdorp and van der Heijden have left, but it’s unlikely that Feyenoord will chase another purchase as they have little money for more. Leroy Fer, Eric Botteghin and Orkun Kokcu have extended their contracts in Rotterdam.

Fortuna Sittard: business not done yet

Despite losing important players in Diemers, Ciss, Dammers, Passlack and Carbonell, Fortuna fans are looking optimistically at the new season. Scandinavian winger Emil Hansson is the ‘big money’ signing this summer from Hannover, giving good attacking impetus. Left-back George Cox has signed a permanent deal with the club, with Roel Janssen acquired from VVV as back-up. Yanick van Osch is a goalkeeper picked up from PSV’s reserves.

Fortuna are not done yet in this transfer window; they have enough numbers but they are looking to add more quality.

FC Groningen: Robben is in but is there more to come?

Arjen Robben! His acquisition is a well-known one, but keeping him fit could be a massive boost to Groningen’s season. A new striker is now paramount for Robben to play alongside, and it is believed that Groningen are busy with other transfers too.

Wessel Dammers is a very good defensive replacement for outgoing captain Mike te Wierik. Left-back Django Warmerdam has gone, with right-back Deyovaisio Zeefuik and defensive midfielder Azor Matusiwa looking to follow suit, but they will require hefty transfer fees.

Heerenveen: ticking time-bomb

Heerenveen have been very quiet so far this summer, but that is all expected to change very soon. Money may be required from tranfers of current players to fund new ones; Joey Veerman, Chidera Ejuke and Mitchell van Bergen carry some value but may all yet remain in Friesland. With many first-team players out the door, Heerenveen are chasing two goalkeepers (with Swansea’s Erwin Mulder and Benfica’s young Mile Svilar set to become first and second choice), several defenders and a new striker.

Heracles Almelo: replacing Dessers

Heracles have strengthened by picking up striker Sinan Bakis to replace transferred top-scorer Cyriel Dessers, young full-back Noah Fadiga from Club Brugge, attacking midfielder Rai Vloet on a free from Excelsior, and they have purchased left-winger Delano Burgzorg from Spezia Calcio. Heracles have lost some squad players from last season, so they still need more recruitments at centre-back and in midfield.

PEC Zwolle: looking to stabilise

PEC Zwolle will be looking for a more positive campaign in mid-table this time around. In response to losing versatile Gustavo Hamer to Coventry, plus striker Lennart Thy and centre-back Etienne Reijnen, PEC have acquired midfielders Jesper Drost from Heracles and Rico Strieder permanently from Utrecht. The Blauwvingers don’t need more in terms of numbers, but a sprinkling of quality wouldn’t go amiss if the club can afford it.

PSV: new midfieder Schmidt’s priority?

So far, there have been plenty of rumours surrounding who PSV might buy – from Alireza Jahanbakhsh to Francesco Antonucci – but nothing has yet materialised. Daniel Schwaab and Ricardo Rodriguez may need to be replaced, but plenty of youth players may yet take their positions in the squad. Captain Denzel Dumfries has long been rumoured to make a transfer, but this has gone quiet.

PSV will just be glad to keep Mohammed Ihattaren and Donyell Malen for next season, but new manager Roger Schmidt discussed a little while back that he is looking for a top-level midfielder to join the ranks.

RKC Waalwijk: another tough season ahead?

RKC, like ADO, were gifted another opportunity to play in the Eredivisie this season due to relegation and promotion being called off from the last campaign. So far, arrivals include teenage left-back Thierry Lutonda from Anderlecht, winger James Efmorfidis from Almere City, and perhaps their best signing, goalkeeper Kostas Lamprou, who has impressed in the past with Willem II. It is difficult for a club the size of RKC to spend any money in recruiting good-level players for the Eredivisie, but much more will have to be done to improve on last year’s showing.

Sparta Rotterdam: strikers galore!

Sparta look set to entertain Dutch football fans again with a set of solid signings. To replace the impressive young strikers of last season, the Rotterdammers have picked up the dependable Lennart Thy from PEC, Danzell Gravenberch from Dordrecht and Eerste Divisie star Reda Kharchouch from Telstar. Michael Heylen is a good addition at centre-back from Emmen, and Benjamin van Leer is another goalkeeping option from Ajax.

Sparta still require centre-back and attacking-midfield reinforcements, plus they will want to keep hold of midfielder Deroy Duarte.

FC Twente: loanees filling up squad

Twente lost A LOT of players at the end of last season, mostly on free transfers, including key players Aitor, Vuckic and Espinosa. Already, the Tukkers have signed Gijs Smal as their new left-back from Volendam, and then a host of loanees: winger Vaclav Cerny (Utrecht), right-back Nathan Markelo (Everton), defender Kik Pierie and winger Danilo Pereira (both Ajax). More defenders, attacking midfielders and forwards are needed before September to thicken a threadbare squad.

FC Utrecht: consistency may prove key

Apart from the arrival of left-back Django Warmerdam from Groningen, it has been a satisfyingly quiet summer for Utrecht. Loanees Kristoffer Peterson and Jeroen Zoet have left, plus some out-of-contract players, including Urby Emmanuelson. The core of the squad remains though, unless Gyrano Kerk is vultured by a bigger club abroad. It is true that the club are seeking another winger, with Mimoun Mahi and Daniel Arzani two names in the hat.

Vitesse Arnhem: more quality needed

Vitesse were having a peaceful summer, until a trio of new players were announced: German Maximilian Wittek is the back-up left-back, centre-back Jacob Rasmussen is on loan from Fiorentina and Lois Openda is an exciting 20-year-old striker on loan from Club Brugge.

Gone are key players Bryan Linssen and Tim Matavz on free transfers, plus loan players Armando Obispo, Nouha Dicko, Jay-Roy Grot and Joshua Brenet. Therefore, more quality players are needed in attack and at centre-back if Vitesse wish to push for a top-five finish.

VVV-Venlo: sensible as usual

VVV love experienced players! All five signings are 25 and above. Ex-AZ winger Guus Hupperts (Lokeren) and Jafar Arias (Emmen) strengthen a depleted attack; meanwhile, in defence, Roy Gelmi, Arjan Swinkels and Lukas Schmitz all join.

The Venlo side still need a left-back, a midfielder (or two), a left-winger and another striker.

Willem II: another exciting season ahead?

Apart from Ajax and Feyenoord, Willem II have splashed more cash than every other Eredivisie club this summer so far. Fans will have celebrated the permanent signing of Mike Trésor Ndayishimiye, but it hasn’t stopped there for the Tilburgers, with right-back Leeroy Owusu purchased from De Graafschap, and a duo joining for free from Bayern Munich’s reserves: 21-year-old left-back Derrick Köhn, and 26-year-old Kwasi Okyere Wriedt was top goal-scorer in the German third tier last season.

With Timon Wellenreuther out the door, another goalkeeper is still needed; Joe Hart and Mark Flekken are two potential names. Willem II will be hoping that no other key players from last season leave.

That was a long article! Thanks for reading. Who do you want your club to sign? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @EredivisieMike.

Want more? Who’s likely to leave the Eredivisie this summer? Watch our video below.




Michael Statham (523 Posts)

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