Netherlands may not have qualified for the World Cup but a number of Eredivisie stars are heading to Russia. We look at the 14 Eredivisie stars that will be on show in Russia. 

Hakim Ziyech

A superstar in the Eredivisie for Ajax, Ziyech is now ready to make a name for himself on the international stage and could be one of the star players at the World Cup in Russia.

The 24-year-old, who represented Netherlands at youth level, switched to Morocco after being overlooked by Danny Blind, and Oranje’s loss is certainly the Atlas Lions gain.

An excellent dribbler, Ziyech has exceptional vision and technique which can unlock a defence from anywhere on the pitch. He topped the assist charts in the Eredivisie this season with 17, while also contributing nine goals.

Ziyech has outgrown the Eredivisie and is on course for a big money move this summer with AS Roma strongly linked. However, if Ziyech impresses in Russia then other big clubs could be on the phone to Amsterdam. Morocco have a tough group with Spain, Portugal and Iran, but Ziyech has the ability to guide them into the knockout stages.

Sofyan Amrabat

The hugely talented midfielder was wanted by the Netherlands, where he was born, but decided to follow his brother Nordin and represent Morocco.

The 21-year-old swapped Utrecht for Feyenoord last summer and has adapted well to the step-up, contributing to the midfield while also slotting in at right-back. A determined and energetic midfielder, Amrabat is physical but also has good technique, vision and dribbling ability.

Amrabat has the capability of playing at a big European club and he will be looking to impress in Russia if given the chance. However, he is likely to start the tournament on the bench.

Karim El Ahmadi

The reliable veteran of the Feyenoord midfield, El Ahmadi heads for his first World Cup with Morocco on the back of a solid season in Rotterdam.

The 33-year-old isn’t a flash player but keeps the Feyenoord midfield ticking and moving forward. El Ahmadi has good vision and technique, while he is an excellent reader of the game.

El Ahmadi has 48 caps for the Moroccan national team and is likely to be a key player in Russia. Likely to sit in front of the defence, El Ahmadi will put a lot of energy into protecting the back four and allowing Ziyech to express himself going forward.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh

There aren’t many players heading to the World Cup in better form than Jahanbakhsh, who was unstoppable for AZ Alkmaar this season.

The winger was undoubtedly one of the players of the season in the Eredivisie with 21 goals and 12 assists in 33 league games, which led AZ to third spot.

A forward with pace, dribbling ability and an excellent finish, Jahanbakhsh can be trouble for any defence that he runs at and Spain, Morocco and Portugal will have to be wary. Iran may be favourites for the bottom spot in their group, but in Jahanbakhsh they have a potential star of the tournament.

If the 24-year-old impresses it will be hard for AZ Alkmaar to keep hold of their star with Napoli already said to be a big fan.

Reza Ghoochannejhad

The 30-year-old journeyman striker had an excellent campaign for Heerenveen during the 2016/17 season, netting 22 goals in 39 games. However, he struggled in front of goal last season with only 10 strikes in 36 games.

Reza will lead the line for Iran at the World Cup and will be looking to impress potential new clubs with his contract at Heerenveen now up.

A poacher in front of goal, Reza will have to form a good partnership with Jahanbaksh if Iran are to make it out of the group stages.

Hirving Lozano

The signing of the summer in the Eredivisie, PSV got themselves a gem when they brought Lozano to Eindhoven. The tricky winger, nicknamed ‘Chucky’ excelled on the wing at the Philips Stadion and was a key reason why PSV lifted the title.

A quick winger with plenty of skill and a low centre of gravity, Lozano is excellent in front of goal, contributing 19 goals in his first campaign for PSV, along with 11 assists and he heads to Russia full of confidence.

Lozano has the ability to be a fans favourite during the tournament and has scouts from around Europe watching him in Russia. However, the 22-year-old needs to keep his emotions in check as Lozano has a reputation for petulance. He has seen six red cards in his club career including two last season.

Kasper Dolberg

Dolberg broke into the Ajax first team in the 2016/17 season and gained a reputation as one of Europe’s brightest young forwards with 23 goals in 48 appearances. However, the 20-year-old struggled with his form at the start of last season before a foot injury kept him out for two months. In 30 appearances, Dolberg netted nine goals, but Denmark coach Åge Hareide included the youngster in his squad for Russia.

A forward with excellent technique, pace and dribbling ability, Dolberg earned comparisons to Dennis Bergkamp during his breakout season and has been linked with Europe’s biggest clubs.

Dolberg will be hoping to regain his form at the World Cup ahead of a big season with Ajax, where he will be hoping to reclaim his starting place from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Lasse Schone

Despite being a key player for Ajax since 2012, Schone has only earned 32 caps for his country so far and the tournament in Russia will be the 32-year-old’s first World Cup.

Schone lost his place in the Ajax eleven at the start of the campaign but was quickly restored to the starting line-up and proved to be one of the club’s best players with ten league goals.

The defensive midfielder reads the game well and has excellent technique on the ball as well as a powerful strike. He is also a danger from free-kicks, although Christian Eriksen may stop his former teammate from taking any around the area.

Nicolai Jorgensen

Feyenoord’s top scorer in their title-winning campaign, Jorgensen struggled with his form this season after a move to Newcastle United broke down in January.

Jorgensen netted 21 league goals in his first year at Feyenoord, but followed that up with only ten in the Eredivisie last season. However, there were signs towards the end of the campaign that Jorgensen was getting his form back and he netted in the KNVB Cup final. Jorgensen will be determined to perform at the World Cup to earn a move to a bigger club.

The 27-year-old is a strong target man with excellent technique and a powerful right-foot. Jorgensen has eight goals in 31 caps for his country and should lead the line in their opening game against Peru.

Renato Tapia

The 22-year-old has struggled to hold down a place in Feyenoord’s line-up since joining from FC Twente in January of 2016. Usually a defensive midfielder, Tapia dropped into the centre of defence due to injuries last season and looked comfortable at the back in his 15 league appearances.

Combative, strong and with good technique, Tapia heads to the World Cup with dark horses Peru and is set to be a key player in their exciting team. Despite his struggles for game time at Feyenoord, Tapia already has 29 caps for his country and will start at the base of their midfield in Russia.

Brad Jones

Australia coach Bert van Marwijk has included Feyenoord goalkeeper Brad Jones in his squad after a solid season from the stopper.

The 36-year-old became number one in Rotterdam during the title-winning campaign and kept Kenneth Vermeer out this season. He proved to be reliable once again despite a difficult campaign for Feyenoord.

Jones kept 10 clean sheets in 35 league games this season and heads to Russia looking to add to his six international caps. However, Matt Ryan is set to be the starting goalkeeper at the tournament.

Nicolas Tagliafico

The left-back has been very impressive since joining Ajax in January, and his performances in Amsterdam have convinced Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli to take him to Russia.

The 25-year-old, who netted once and contributed two assists in 15 Ajax appearances, only has four caps for Argentina but is set to start on the left of their defence at the World Cup.

In Tagliafico, Argentina have a defensively solid left-back that also has the dribbling ability, pace and crossing ability to cause problems going forward.

Albert Gudmundsson

The highly regarded 20-year-old winger is yet to nail down a place in PSV’s first team but he has been included in Iceland’s World Cup squad.

Capable of playing across the front-line, Gudmundsson was a star for Jong PSV in the 2016/17 Eerste Divisie season with 18 goals in 34 matches. He expected to be more involved with the first team during the last campaign but was kept mostly on the bench by Phillip Cocu, making only nine appearances, mostly from the bench, in which he contributed three assists.

A speedy forward with plenty of tricks and an eye for goal, Gudmundsson could be a breakout star for Iceland if given the chance. He will be hoping to convince Cocu that he can be a starter for PSV next season.

Santiago Arias

After helping PSV Eindhoven to the Eredivisie title, Arias heads to the World Cup with Colombia and is set to be the starting right-back in Jose Pekerman’s side.

Arias has been a key player for PSV since joining the club in 2013 from Sporting CP, making 132 appearances, whilst contributing 10 goals and 21 assists. He also has 41 international caps to his name.

An attacking full-back, Arias has plenty of energy to burn and loves to bomb forward on the wing and swing crosses into the box. He is also reliable and a fierce tackler at the back.

At 26, Arias is looking to make the next move in his career and a good World Cup could help him seal a big transfer. Juventus are one of the clubs said to be following the defender closely.




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