The Champions League gets underway this week with a number of young Dutchmen set to be involved in the group stages. Michael Bell picks his top five to watch during the tournament.

Noa Lang

“There’s something incredible about him. Why isn’t anyone looking at him?” A bewildered Ruud Gullit said on Ziggo Sport after Lang once again shone with two goals in Club Brugge’s victory at the weekend.

The calls for Lang to get called up to the Netherlands national team were huge last season and they are growing even more after four goals and four assists in the opening eight games of the campaign.

Lang now has the chance to impress Louis van Gaal even more by starring in a tough Champions League group for Club Brugge. The Belgians start against PSG and then face Manchester City and RB Leipzig.

The 22-year-old former Ajax talent is quick, has plenty of tricks up his sleeve, and is an excellent finisher. Club Brugge may finish bottom of the group but Lang has a platform to showcase his immense talent.

Jurrien Timber

A revelation ever since breaking into the Ajax first-team last season, Timber is now looking to make a big impression in the Champions League.

The ball-playing centre-back’s rise has been swift but nothing seems to have phased the 20-year-old, who made the Netherlands squad for Euro 2020.

Timber only played for one minute of last season’s Champions League, meaning this will be his first full campaign in the competition. He will be a starter at the back, and you can expect Timber to be one of the standouts in an Ajax shirt.

Sporting and Besiktas will be tough battles, but Timber will also be able to prove himself up against Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland. Tottenham and Chelsea are already circling Timber and the list of interested parties could grow even larger after this season.

Teun Koopmeiners

Teun Koopmeiners made the move from AZ Alkmaar to Atalanta Bergamo at the end of the transfer window and the 23-year-old now has the opportunity to test himself in the Champions League.

A midfield general with wonderful technique and the ability to dictate play from deep, Koopmeiners has been AZ Alkmaar’s standout player for years and now he wants to take his game to the next level. With Atalanta, Koopmeiners has a real chance of reaching the Champions League knockout stages after they were put in a group with Villarreal, Manchester United and Young Boys.

The games will give Koopmeiners the chance to prove himself and a place in the Netherlands midfield alongside Frenkie de Jong could be a real possibility if he excels.

Arnaut Danjuma

From the Championship to the Champions League, Arnaut Danjuma made the move to Villarreal this summer after excelling for Bournemouth last season.

Danjuma has already made a splash in the Champions League before after scoring a wonder goal for Club Brugge against Atletico Madrid. The winger then made his debut for the Netherlands before making the move to England.

Danjuma’s first season in England did not go to plan but in the Championship, he got 15 goals and seven assists, which earned him a big-money move.

Pacey, direct and a strong finisher, Danjuma has the ability to shine for Villarreal and against Atalanta, Manchester United, and Young Boys, the winger is aiming to win his place back in the Netherlands squad.

The now 24-year-old has already made an impression in Spain with a goal in the 2-2 draw against Atletico earlier this month.

Brian Brobbey

Brobbey took the big decision this summer to depart Ajax for RB Leipzig and the young striker is on a mission to prove he made the right move.

Last season, the 19-year-old made a big splash in the Ajax first-team, scoring six times, including three in the Europa League. A powerful forward, Brobbey proved to be an excellent option from the bench, but Ajax could not convince him to stay.

Brobbey has only been a substitute for RB Leipzig so far this season but he is waiting for his chance to break in the German side’s starting eleven. In the Champions League, Brobbey could make a difference with clashes against PSG, Manchester City, and Club Brugge to prove himself.

Strong, explosively quick and with a hammer of a shot, Brobbey is a handful for defences.

The other Dutchmen involved in the Champions League

Barcelona: Memphis Depay, Frenkie de Jong and Luuk de Jong

Manchester United: Donny van de Beek

Atalanta Bergamo: Hans Hateboer, Marten de Roon

Lille OSC: Sven Botman

Wolfsburg: Micky van de Ven, Wout Weghorst

Juventus: Matthijs de Ligt

Club Brugge: Bas Dost, Ruud Vormer

PSG: Georginio Wijnaldum

Manchester City: Nathan Ake

Liverpool: Virgil van Dijk

Borussia Dortmund: Donyell Malen

Inter Milan: Stefan De Vrij

Ajax: Maarten Stekelenburg, Remko Pasveer, Devyne Rensch, Daley Blind, Perr Schuurs, Kenneth Taylor, Davy Klaassen, Ryan Gravenberch, Steven Berghuis,




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