Football-Oranje takes a look at the next generation of Dutch strikers who will look to replace Robin van Persie and Klaas Jan Huntelaar in the Netherlands national team over the coming years. 

Huntelaar and Van Persie are both in their prime at 31-years-old, but the current generation of Dutch strikers such as Ricky van Wolfswinkel (25), Luuk de Jong (24) and Bas Dost (25) have failed to impress at club level, meaning Netherlands may have to look to younger options to replace the duo when their international careers come to an end. There are also question marks over the likes of Luc Castaignos (22) and Jurgen Locadia (21), who were expected to be breaking into the Netherlands squad when they were youth players.

Luckily for the Oranje there is plenty of younger talent currently coming through the youth ranks in Netherlands, and below are the talents, under the age of twenty, who we believe will take the nation by storm in the next few years if they continue their development.

zivkRichairo Zivkovic-Ajax-18-years-old

Blessed with terrific pace and agility Zivkovic was ranked among the top talents in world football after breaking into the Groningen first team last season. After netting 11 goals in his first Eredivisie campaign a move to Ajax followed, and although the striker is yet to make his debut for the first team in the Eredivisie, Zivkovic is currently the top scorer for Jong Ajax in the Eerste Divisie with nine goals.

Eligible to play for Serbia, Zivkovic is a regular for Netherlands U19’s, but was recently sent home from the international squad for failing to turn up to training on time, and breaking the curfew rules. If Zivkovic can continue his development, and learning from Ajax coach Dennis Bergkamp can only help, then the 18-year-old is more than capable of becoming one of the most deadly strikers in Europe.

Pre-Season Friendly - "ASWH v Feyenoord"Wessel Dammers-Feyenoord-19-year-old

Feyenoord’s academy has been voted the best in Netherlands for the past five years, and has been a breeding ground for the national team in recent times. In Wessel Dammers, Feyenoord have the first striker since Robin van Persie, capable of going from the Rotterdam clubs academy to the Oranje XI.

Dammers is a strong striker, with good ball control and a deadly right foot, who finished as second top scorer in the A-juniors (Under 19) Eredivisie last season with 17 goals. So far this season the 19-year-old has been a regular starter for Jong Feyenoord, scoring three goals, and recently made his debut for Netherlands U21’s as a second half substitute in a 3-1 defeat to Germany.

The next goal for Dammers will be to break into Feyenoord’s first team, and judging by recent performances that moment can’t be too far away.

van amersfoort sjjPelle van Amersfoort-Heerenveen-18-years-old

At 6ft 3, Van Amersfoort is a commanding presence on the pitch, and his height will be a a huge asset for Heerenveen over the next few years, although the striker also has great ability with the ball at his feet.

After scoring 13 goals for the U19’s last season, Van Amersfoort made his Heerenveen debut in September, and has since went on to make four more appearances from the bench, while starting the KNVB cup defeat to Roda JC. The forward is still awaiting his first Eredivisie goal, but the striker played a major role for Netherlands U19’s in their 3-1 win over Belgium on the 18th of October, scoring one and assisting twice.

Comparison’s have been made to former Heerenveen star Bas Dost, and Jan Venegoor of Hesselink, with Van Amerfoort certainly a player worth keeping an eye on. There isn’t currently a tall battering ram of a striker in the Netherlands national team, and if Van Amerfoort can continue his development then he could fill that void in the future.

U17 England v U17 Netherlands - UEFA Under17 European Championship 2014 FinalDani van der Moot-PSV-17-years-old

A typical centre forward, Van der Moot has been one of the most prolific strikers in Dutch youth football in recent years, firstly at AZ Alkmaar and then for PSV. In the 2011/12 season the striker netted an impressive 30 goals for AZ, and two years later PSV snapped the 16-year-old up on his first professional deal. His first season saw him net 14 times for PSV’s under 17’s, while so far this campaign Van der Moot has six goals.

A member of the Netherlands U17 squad that finished 2nd during last summers European Championships, Van der Moot is strong, agile and an excellent finisher, especially with his head. If Van der Moot continues to find the net for the U19’s this season then a call up to Jong PSV in the Eerste Divisie will not be far away, and that will give the striker the chance to prove his undoubted quality.

owobowale adoSegun Owobowale-ADO Den Haag-17-years-old

A striker with blistering pace Owobowale has impressed ADO Den Haag boss Henk Fraser enough for him to hand the 17-year-old his Eredivisie debut this season in the 3-2 defeat against Cambuur. That is quite a rise for the striker who was playing in the B Junior league last season, where he netted eight times.

Like Van der Moot, Owobowale was part of the Netherlands U17 squad for the European championships last summer, and he has since progressed to the U18 squad. The youngster is not only quick, but can link up play well. and if he can add more goals to his game then a bright future awaits.

el idrissi ajaAdham El Idrissi-Ajax-17-years-old

Ajax’s A1 squad is packed full of talent, and currently taking the UEFA Youth League (An U19 version of the Champions league) by storm is forward Adham El Idrissi. The forward, with Moroccan roots, netted 12 goals for the Ajax B1 squad last season, before stepping up to the A1’s, and so far El Idrissi has netted 10 goals. Three of those strikes have come in the UEFA youth league, with one coming in a 2-2 draw against holders Barcelona.

Capable of playing on the wing as well as up front, El Idrissi is a determined player who never stops running, while the youngsters positional play around the box, and trickery on the ball is excellent. El Idrissi’s style of play has brought comparisons with ex-Ajax striker Luis Suarez, and it is easy to see why when watching the 17-year-old play. Even though he is eligible for Morocco, El Idrissi is a Netherlands U18 international, and the KNVB will be hoping they can convince the talent to stay with the Oranje throughout the youth ranks and into the first team.

Other strikers to keep an eye on:

Ezra Walian– The 17-year-old with Indonesian roots has been banging in the goals for Ajax’s youth squad’s for the past few years, and currently has seven goals for Ajax A2 this season.

Sam Hendriks– Ajax signed the striker from De Graafchap in 2013 and the 19-year old has since netted five goals in 22 matches for Jong Ajax in the Eerste Divisie. Compared to Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Hendriks will be hoping to make his first team debut in the next year.

Jan Willem-Tesselaar- Currently starring for AZ Alkmaar’s Under 19 side which top the league ahead of the uber-talented Ajax squad, while he has represented Netherlands at U17 level.

Joey Konings- The 16-year-old is on fire for PSV’s U17’s this season, scoring 9 goals so far, and the future looks bright for the forward.

Joel Piroe– The youngest player on the list, but the 15-year-old, who moved from Feyenoord to PSV last summer, has already netted 17 goals this season, and has attracted interest from the likes of Manchester City.

Lars Ten Teije– The brightest talent in the Vitesse academy, Ten Teije has scored 179 goals in his career from the clubs U10’s so far, and already has six for the U17’s this season.

Finn Stokkers– The 18-year-old was in great form for Sparta Rotterdam A1 last season, netting 10 times, and is likely to make a number of first team appearances in the Eerste Divisie this season, which should lead to an Eredivisie move.




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