The U17 European Championships start next week and Netherlands will be looking to win the tournament for the third time in their history. Michael Bell picks five young Dutchmen to keep your eye on in Azerbaijan.

kluivert u17Justin Kluivert

Patrick Kluivert had a glittering career in the Netherlands national team and now it’s time for his son Justin to take part in his first major international tournament.

A speedy winger, Justin has made a big impression for both the U17 and U19 sides at Ajax this season, scoring some memorable goals along the way including a terrific solo effort against Feyenoord which can be seen below. The 16-year-old currently has 16 goals to his name this season.

Ajax have already agreed to tie Justin down to his first professional contract and it seems like the young attacker has a bright future in the game, just like his father.

u17 chongTahith Chong

Chong’s name has been in the media for the past few months with the gifted young winger set to swap Feyenoord for Manchester United this summer, and fans of the Premier League club will be eager to see their new signing in action.

Explosively quick, Chong loves running at players on the wing and whipping in crosses. He is composed in front of goal and has a reputation of trying shots from distance. The 16-year-old is tall for his age, and with his afro he can be a commanding presence on the pitch.

Chong already has eleven caps for Netherlands U17’s, scoring once.

malen nDonyell Malen

Malen swapped the Ajax academy for Arsenal last summer and is going from strength to strength in England.

The hugely talented striker, who can also play on the wing, has made such an impression for Arsenal’s U18 side that he is already a regular for the club at U21 level, scoring four times in 11 appearances.

It seems only a matter of time before Malen is handed his first team debut at Arsenal, but before then he will look to lead the Oranje to success in Azerbaijan.

venteDylan Vente

Challenging Malen for the starting spot up front will be Feyenoord goal machine Dylan Vente, who has netted 26 goals so far this season.

The striker recently scored a hat-trick in the mini De Klaassieker against Ajax, and has six goals in ten appearances for Netherlands U17’s.

Deadly in front of goal, Vente will be an obvious target for both Chong and Kluivert in the box and would be a good pick to finish the tournament as top scorer.

de ligtMatthijs de Ligt

The 16-year-old centre-back has been making a big impression in Amsterdam since being named player of the tournament at the ABN AMRO Future Cup last year and has already been tied down to a professional contract.

A modern ball playing defender, de Ligt is mature for his age, with the 16-year-old already part of Ajax’s U19 squad. De Ligt played a major part in this season’s UEFA Youth League, which saw Ajax edged out in the Quarter Finals by eventual winners Chelsea.

De Ligt is a born leader on the pitch and will likely captain the Oranje in Azerbaijan. He may be the one lifting the tournaments trophy at the end of May.




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