After a fantastic season under now Southampton boss Ronald Koeman, can Feyenoord expect the same level of the performance under Rutten in the upcoming season?

  • By Oliver Fisher
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feyegrLast season was one of the best in recent memory for Feyenoord, staying in and around the top three before emerging as the most consistent behind Ajax in order to finish second. Performances of young players such as Janmaat, Clasie, De Vrij, Martins-Indi and others got them international recognition, and in many ways has hindered the side going into the season due to the number of outgoing transfers. Nevertheless, new boss Fred Rutten, replacing Koeman who departed for Southampton, has some revenue to work with, and many are hoping he can bring success back to Rotterdam.


Most of the transfer activity surrounding Feyenoord this season has sadly been high-profile exits. Pellè and Janmaat left for the Barclays Premier League in the form of Southampton and Newcastle respectively, while World Cup star Stefan De Vrij departed for Rome to join Lazio. Also, Bruno Martins-Indi, another Oranje star in Brazil, departed for Porto, while speculation remains on the futures of Clasie and Vilhena. In terms of incomings, the club has been shrewd so far in spending money. While most wanted to see the £9million spent on the return of Manchester City youngster John Guidetti, who had a successful loan spell in Rotterdam, so far no recognised striker has been brought in. Defenders Woudenberg, Steenvoorden and van Deelen and attackers Manu, and Achahbar  have all returned from loan spells, while the club has brought in defenders Luke Wilkshere and Khalid Boulahrouz from Dinamo Moscow and Brondby respectively. Also, Feyenoord signed Dordrecht goalkeeper Warner Hahn on a free, and bought Heerenveen prospect Bilal Basacikoglu for £3.08million.


Feyenoord began preseason with the first training session on the 25th of June, with over 5,000 fans attending. Signs have been positive, as they beat amateur sides SV Honselersdijk, VOC, ASWH and FC Horst in friendly matches, as well as defeating FC Emmen 2-0 away from home. The team was supposed to play Fortuna Sittard on the 19th of July, but it was cancelled because of anticipated crowd trouble. The final pre-season game was a 1-1 draw at De Kuip against Real Sociedad, rounding off a successful campaign.

Key Players:

Jordy Clasie: After all the departures and speculation surrounding Feyenoord this season, the midfield maestro and club captain who featured in the Netherlands’ World Cup campaign has stayed put for now at least. His passing, vision, work rate and ability to break up play mean that Clasie is probably the most important asset to the Feyenoord squad at this moment. At just 23 years old and with 18 assists plus 6 goals in his 110 appearances as a Feyenoord played, Jordy Clasie is the midfielder of the future if he can be persuaded to stay.

Jean-Paul Boëtius: The 20-year-old Rotterdam-born winger was instrumental in providing service for the prolific Pellè last season, registering 10 assists. He showed signs of improving his decision making, as well as having an eye for goal, by netting 10 times as well in his 29 appearances. Having played one game for the Oranje, Boëtius is expected to be another future star, and this is a crucial season in his development.

Mitchell Te Vrede: The young striker has big shoes to fill in the form of Graziano Pellè and the goals he contributed last season. Te Vrede has the makeup of a good striker, and hopefully he will gel with wingers Boëtius and Schaken to mimic the production of the departed Italian forward, but question marks remain about his ability to score 20+ goals. Signs are encouraging though, as he converted a spot kick in the first leg of the Besiktas Champions League qualifier to open his competitive account for the season.

Khalid Boulahrouz: The new acquisition will be thrust in at the deep end by being made to replace De Vrij or Janmaat (depending on if he plays CB or RB). Despite being a bit of a journeyman, Boulahrouz has played 35 times for the Netherlands and has amassed over 260 appearances in top division sides all over Europe, including Stuttgart, Hamburger and Chelsea. His experience and composure is much needed in order to lead a young back line.

Youngsters to watch:

Sven van Beek: Van Beek is a player who has long been a young prospect has finally found his way into the thick of first team action given the recent departures. At just 20 years of age, Sven has a lot to learn about the pace and quality of the Eredivisie game, but I personally feel he will have no problems adjusting to life with the right conditions. With 4 Netherlands U21 games under his belt, van Beek is just another example of the bright talent being produced by the Feyenoord academy, and this is without a doubt his most important season to date.

Matthew Steenvoorden: Another defender, which is fitting given that three top defenders have left, and Steenvoorden is like van Beek in many ways, as he has been considered a talented, promising asset for the future. 21 years old, Steenvoorden spent time out on loan in the Jupiler League with Dordrecht getting much needed game time, and he impressed from what reports say. The future is bright for Steenvoorden, and hopefully Feyenoord can give him some playing time this year to further develop his skills.


Last season is such a tough act to follow, and with so many players leaving the squad it has been one of the most disrupted pre-seasons in a long time for Feyenoord. I feel slightly pessimistic about the upcoming season just because of the ability that has left and the resulting rush to find replacements that may not be adequate. My faith in Rutten is dependent on his methods of getting the squad to gel, and while restoring the successes of last season might be tough, there may yet be new signings to get excited about.

My prediction: 4th

Oliver Fisher (9 Posts)

Aspiring Sports Journalist and huge football fan, from Leeds, England. Follow @olifisher on Twitter