Netherlands academies are seen as some of the best in world football, but sometimes young talent are snatched by big clubs before they can break into the first team. Michael Bell looks at Timothy Fosu Mensah, Rodney Kongolo and Javairo Dilrosun who all swapped Netherlands for Manchester.


00 mensahTimothy Fosu-Mansah

Daley Blind wasn’t the only Ajax player that joined Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford during the summer, as Manchester also poached young defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah from Amsterdam on deadline day for a fee of around £300,000. The United scouts were impressed by Fosu-Mensah at the Aegon tournament in April and wasted no time in snapping him up despite competition from Inter Milan.

The now 17-year-old is a versatile, and technically excellent player capable of playing across the back-line or even in defensive midfield. Tall, strong, good on the ball and possessing blistering pace Fosu-Mensah has made a eye-catching start to his career for the Manchester club’s U18’s and has the potential to break into the first team in a few years.

Fosu-Mensah is also the captain of Netherlands U17’s and helped them qualify for the Elite round of qualifying for the European Championships which takes place in March.

 00 r kongRodney Kongolo

Older brother Terence may be a star for Feyenoord and the Netherlands national team, but Rodney decided not to follow in his brothers footsteps in Rotterdam and instead chose to join Manchester City. The Premier League club scouted the young midfielder several times before snapping him up for a fee of €450,000 in 2014.

Kongolo is a box-to-box midfielder who loves a tackle at one end before using his terrific engine to power forward and join the attack. Tall, quick and with excellent vision, Kongolo has been a star of the Manchester City U18 side which has reached the FA youth cup quarter finals, and the 16-year-old even scored a volley when he came up against Fosu-Mensah’s Manchester United in a league game, although they were defeated 5-2.

The Netherlands U17 international has been likened to Patrick Viera for his style of play, and if he can keep on developing like the Arsenal legend then he should join his older brother as a key member of Netherlands national team.

00 dilrosunJavairo Dilrosun

Manchester City not only raided Feyenoord during the summer they also signed winger Javairo Dilrosun from Ajax after paying Ajax €300,000 in compensation. The 16-year-old is a skillful and pacey attacker, who like Fosu-Mensah impressed during the Aegon tournament last April, and was an eye-catching figure in the final win over Liverpool. The winger also netted the winning goal in the championship deciding game for Ajax U18’s against PSV last season before moving to Manchester.

Dilrosun has been a regular for the U18 side in Manchester alongside Kongolo, scoring three goals, and has impressed in the UEFA Youth league as his side topped their group with six wins out of six.

A direct runner with tricks and an eye for goal Dilrosun is an exciting prospect for both Manchester City and Netherlands.and is definitely one to keep an eye on over the next few years.

Michael Bell (59 Posts)