We profile the Dutchmen looking to make an impact during the 2018/19 Serie A season which gets underway in Italy this weekend.  

Justin Kluivert

The 19-year-old has made the brave decision to leave Ajax for Roma, but can Justin Kluivert make an impact in Serie A this season?

Kluivert, son of Netherlands legend Patrick Kluivert, has been highly regarded since he joined the Ajax academy and has developed rapidly since making his first-team debut in January 2017. The speedy winger’s form for Ajax was erratic but he was excellent at times last season, as he scored ten league goals and made his debut for the Dutch national team.

This summer, Kluivert made the decision to depart Ajax and joined AS Roma for around €17.25 million. Many believe that the forward has moved abroad too early, but he is motivated to prove his doubters wrong and has already raised plenty of eyebrows during pre-season.

Kluivert is one of Netherlands most talented young forwards and could become a household name for club and country this season. There will be plenty of extra Ajax and Netherlands fans viewing Serie A to see if he can make an impact.

Kevin Strootman

A key player in Roma’s charge to third last season, Strootman will be aiming to be a leader in midfield for club and country this season.

The former Utrecht star left PSV for Rome in the summer of 2013 in a deal worth around €17 million but Strootman’s time in Italy has been hit by several knee problems, limiting him to 47 appearances during his first three seasons.

The last two years has seen Strootman get over his issues but his form has been erratic at times, especially for Netherlands. However, last season the box-to-box midfielder was instrumental as Roma finished third in Serie A and reached the Champions League semi-finals.

A move to Inter Milan was rumoured this summer, but the 28-year-old remains in Rome and will be a leader in Eusebio Di Francesco’s side packed full of young talents.

Rick Karsdorp

After an injury hit first year in Rome, Rick Karsdorp will be aiming to make a big impact for AS Roma this season.

A midfielder in Feyenoord’s academy, Karsdorp has starred since being turned into a right-back by the club’s former coach Fred Rutten. Karsdorp didn’t look back, establishing himself in the Feyenoord XI, making over 100 appearances, earning three caps for Netherlands and gaining a reputation as one of the finest young full-back’s in Europe.

Last summer, Roma shelled out €14 million to take Karsdorp to Italy, but his first season at the club was ruined by injuries which limited him to a single appearance.

Nearing full fitness, Karsdop will be looking to nail down the right-back spot at Roma and earn his spot back in the Netherlands squad. It could be a huge year for Karsdorp if he can regain his form.

Stefan de Vrij

Internazionale are looking to challenge Juventus for the title this season and make an impact in the Champions League, with Stefan de Vrij one of their big summer signings.

The former Feyenoord centre-back spent four years with Lazio and established himself as one of the most reliable defenders in Italy, making 118 appearances in Rome, scoring ten times. De Vrij’s contract expired this summer and he has been snapped up by Inter Milan, who have also added the likes of Radja Nainggolan, Keita Balde and Šime Vrsaljko to their squad.

The 26-year-old, who has 36 caps for Netherlands, will now look to establish himself as one of the leaders in Inter’s XI and help them challenge for silverware.

Hans Hateboer

The full-back has been heavily linked with both Borussia Dortmund and Valencia, but Hateboer remains an Atalanta player for now.

After coming through Groningen’s academy and making over 100 appearances for the club, Hateboer joined Atalanta in 2016. He took some time to settle but has become a key player in Italy, making 33 appearances in Serie A last season while also earning two caps for Netherlands.

Both Borussia Dortmund and Valencia were willing to pay big money to sign the 24-year-old this summer, but Atalanta has so far resisted interest in their star.

Marten de Roon

Atalanta will once again be looking to challenge for a European place with Marten de Roon anchoring the midfield.

De Roon originally joined Atalanta from Heerenveen in 2015 and had a great year in Italy before joining Middlesbrough for €12 million. Boro were relegated from the Premier League, leading to De Roon returning to Bergamo last summer.

The defensive midfielder, who has five caps for Netherlands, was key for Atalanta last season as they went far in the Europa League and finished 7th in Serie A. De Roon will be looking to once again impress for his club this season in order to stay part of Ronald Koeman’s plans.

Alessio da Cruz

Parma reportedly beat Arsenal to the signing of Alessio da Cruz last January and the former Twente youngster will be looking to impress in his first Serie A campaign.

After coming through the Twente academy the forward made three appearances before leaving to join Italian side Novara on a free in 2017. He made a big impression in Serie B, scoring five times in 19 appearances for Novara. He was linked with Arsenal but instead joined Parma for around €3 million last January.

Da Cruz has only made seven appearances since, but is set to be a big player for the newly promoted side this season. Capable of playing on the wings or through the middle, the 21-year-old, who has plenty of pace, could be one of the youngsters to keep an eye on.

Kevin Diks

Kevin Diks is back at Fiorentina after a loan spell with Feyenoord and is looking to finally cement his place in the Viola eleven.

After impressing in 52 Eredivisie matches for Vitesse Arnhem, Diks was snapped up by Fiorentina in the summer of 2016. He only made two Serie A appearances before being loaned back to Vitesse for six months. He then joined Feyenoord on loan last season, and made 31 appearances for Giovanni van Bronckorst’s side.

The 21-year-old right-back, who can play along the defence, is now back at Fiorentina and with no new loan, he will be aiming to break into the first-team in Italy.

Diks was considered one of the finest young Dutch defenders before he moved to Fiorentina and he will be looking to finally live upto expectations this year.

Bram Nuytink

The commanding centre-back will be looking to build on a positive first campaign with Udinese.

The 28-year-old started his career with NEC Nijmegen before joining Belgian giants Anderlecht in 2012. Nuytink spent five years at Anderlecht and made 158 appearances, but fell out of favour during the 2016/17 season.

Last summer he decided to join Udinese and Nuytink impressed in his first season, making 30 appearances as the club finished 14th.

Mitchell Dijks

Mitchell Dijks will be looking to put his disappointing second spell with Ajax behind him and make a name for himself in Italy.

After leaving Ajax for Willem II in 2014, Dijks starred in the Eredivisie and returned to Amsterdam a year later. He was a regular in his first campaign but fell out of favour and was sent out on loan to Norwich City. Dijks refused a permanent move to the Championship and was a reserve for Ajax last season, making only nine Eredivisie appearances.

In April, the strong and powerful left-back was announced as a new signing by Bologna, and he had a successful debut last week, scoring in a cup win over Padua. Dijks will be looking to build on his first appearance and get his career back on track.

Rai Vloet

The former PSV midfielder has had a strange summer but finally got his move to Serie A new boys Frosinone.

After scoring four league goals for NAC Breda last season in the Eredivisie, Vloet decided on an adventure abroad and wanted to join Frosinone. However, out of nowhere he was announced as a signing by Swiss side FC Chiasso, only for the 23-year-old to be loaned to Frosinone, who have since made the deal permanent.

With his future sorted, the attacking midfielder with good technical ability, will be looking to make a big impact in his first Serie A campaign.

Ricardo Kishna

He may be asking for a return to ADO Den Haag, but Ricardo Kishna is still a Lazio player heading into the new season.

The winger decided to leave Ajax for Rome back in 2015 but has only made 16 league appearances for the club, spending the last two seasons out on loan, firstly with Lille and then with ADO Den Haag. Last season the 23-year-old suffered a serious injury in the opening game of the Eredivisie season and has been out of action since.

Nearing fitness, Kishna wants to return to The Hague, but as of yet no deal has been done. The forward was on the cusp of the Netherlands squad when he was at Ajax but his career has gone south since leaving Amsterdam. Could this be the year he gets back to full fitness and returns to form?




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