The u19 European Championships begin next week with Netherlands looking to win the tournament for the first time. Michael Bell profiles the young Dutch stars that will be on show. 

  • By Michael Bell
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van osch pYanick van Osch

He has been the regular number one for Netherlands at youth levels for the past few years and the PSV stopper will once again be first choice for Aron Winters in Germany. The 19-year-old is a great shot stopper with excellent reflexes.

Van Osch has been tied down to a long contract with PSV Eindhoven, and made five appearances for Jong PSV in the Eerste Divisie. He is seen as the future number one for not only PSV but also the full Dutch national team.

paes necMaarten Paes

The 18-year-old is yet to be tested at international level, but will act as back-up to van Osch after impressing Winter during the training camp.

Interestingly, PSV Eindhoven were hoping to sign Paes earlier this summer, but the youngster decided to remain in Nijmegen and signed a three-year deal with the club.

ter avestHidde ter Avest

The 19-year-old right-back is the most experienced at first team level in the squad, having already made 39 Eredivisie appearances for FC Twente since making his debut in 2014.

Ter Avest was a regular for the cash-strapped club last season, and was one of the bright sparks in a disappointing campaign. The 19-year-old is impressive at the back but loves to get forward and will look to whip in crosses for the likes of Sam Lammers or Dennis van der Heijden.

carolina psJurich Carolina

PSV poached the young centre-back from AZ Alkmaar last summer, and Carolina is seen as one of the most gifted young players at the Eindhoven club.

Carolina played brilliantly during PSV’s UEFA Youth League campaign last season, and made his professional debut for Jong PSV in the Eerste Divisie, going on to make nine appearances in the Dutch second tier, despite only being 17.

Tall, strong and comfortable on the ball, Carolina has all the attributes of a typical Dutch centre-back.

lelieJulian Lelieveld

Lelieveld is a versatile defender, capable of playing along the back line, but will likely line up at left-back during the tournament with Ter Avest set to take his regular spot on the right-hand side.

Injuries at Vitesse led to Lelieveld making his first team debut last season, and the 18-year-old is set for more action in Arnhem during the next campaign after Kevin Diks left for Fiorentina.

calvin verCalvin Verdonk

Verdonk has been labeled as a star of the future for years after impressing for Feyenoord’s academy and Netherlands at various youth levels. Usually deployed in the centre of defence, Verdonk loves to stride forward with the ball at his feet and has scored a number of memorable long-range strikes for his club and country.

The 19-year-old has only made one Eredivisie appearance so far for Feyenoord, but will spend next season on loan with PEC Zwolle as he seeks regular first team football. The European Championships will be the start of a big season for the young defender.

zeefuik ajaDeyovaisio Zeefuik

The 18-year-old Ajax right-back recently signed his first professional contract with the club and will now look to battle Lelieveld and Ter Avest for a starting spot at the Euros.

Zeefuik made a big impression for Ajax in the UEFA Youth League last season but is yet to make his debut for his country at this level, having only made one appearance for the U18’s.

He will likely act as a back-up for the tournament.

rosario netPablo Rosario

Rosario started his career in the youth team of Ajax, but after suffering a groin injury was forced to leave the club and decided to join Eerste Divisie side Almere City. The 19-year-old was a revelation for Almere City last season, making 34 league appearances as the club just missed out on a place in the Eredivisie.

The gifted midfielder will now look to use the tournament to impress clubs in the Eredivisie as he looks to make the step up this summer.

vlap heeMichel Vlap

Daley Sinkgraven and Hakim Ziyech have come through the Heerenveen academy over the past few years, and the next set to make his breakthrough in the Frisian’s midfield is Michel Vlap.

The tall attacking midfielder, who can also play up front or on the wing,  is yet to make his first-team debut but has impressed in the U19 Eerste Divisie, netting nine goals last season.

eiting ajaCarel Eiting

Despite only being 17, Eiting is already a key member of Ajax’s U19 side alongside Abdelhak Nouri and Donny van de Beek. The controlling midfielder was a key part of the Ajax side that reached the last eight of the UEFA Youth League last season and will be one to keep an eye on in Germany.

Eiting is a defensive midfielder with great vision and passing ability, but also likes to get forward and get involved around the penalty area. Eiting is tied down to a lengthy contract in Amsterdam and should be making his debut for the first team sooner rather than later.

duarte nthLaros Duarte

PSV beat off several other clubs to land the talented defensive midfielder from Sparta Rotterdam last summer, with Duarte making seven appearances for the club’s U21’s in his first season in Eindhoven.

Duarte is a regular for Netherlands U19’s, having been a major part of the qualifying campaign and should take his place in the midfield alongside Abdelhak Nouri. Duarte is a strong, tough tackling midfielder, but is also great with the ball at his feet.

nouri ajaAbdelhak Nouri

The undoubted star of the U19’s midfield and gem of the Ajax academy, Nouri will be expected to be one of the stars of the tournament in Germany.

Nouri is an exceptionally talented attacking midfielder, who possesses an incredible touch, great vision and an eye for goal. Over the past few years he has been compared to players such as Wesley Sneijder, Andres Iniesta and even Johan Cruyff and is getting closer and closer to making his debut in the first team of Ajax.

Nouri made his professional debut for Jong Ajax in the Eerste Divisie last season, going on to make 19 appearances in which he provided six assists and a single goal.

The 19-year-old will captain Netherlands U19’s in Germany and if he is on form then the Oranje should reach the latter stages of the tournament.

schuurman feyJari Schuurman

Nouri is the gem of the Ajax academy, but at Feyenoord it is Jari Schuurman who has been making waves through the Rotterdam side’s youth teams.

The attacking midfielder has scored goals for fun at U17, U19 and U21 level for Feyenoord and was finally handed his first-team debut in the final game of last season. Schuurman will be given his chance to impress in the Eredivisie next season after joining Willem II on loan, but will first look to fire Netherlands U19’s to the Euro championship.

Schuurman is naturally a number 10, who loves to make runs into the box, but with Nouri set to start in that position, he may have to make due with a deeper role or on the wing.

paal celKenneth Paal

Another tremendously talented attacking midfielder, Paal has worked his way through the youth sides of PSV Eindhoven and was a regular for the club’s U21’s in the Eerste Divisie last season, making 34 appearances.

Described as the new Wijnaldum, Paal has tremendous technique, great vision and loves to dribble with the ball at his feet. Paal’s naturally a number ten, but has been known to play on the wing, at DM, or even at right back. His versatility will be key for Netherlands during the tournament.

bergwijn oranjeSteven Bergwijn

He has been called the new Arjen Robben or Memphis Depay for the past few years, but Bergwijn is finally set to make a name for himself over the next few months, starting with the Euros this month.

The exceptionally talented left winger, who can also play as a false-nine, has already made a handful of appearances for the PSV first team, but will be a permanent member of Phillip Cocu’s squad next season and is set to take the Eredivisie by storm.

Bergwijn is almost unstoppable when running with the ball at his feet, and has scored goals for fun at every youth level. He proved he can do it at a professional level last season when he scored nine times in the Eerste Divisie for Jong PSV, and he will be the U19’s biggest attacking threat in Germany.

The 18-year-old is one to keep an eye on over the next few months.

dekker ajaGino Dekker

The pacey and elegant Ajax winger has been making waves in the Amsterdam club’s youth academy over the past few years and played a crucial role in helping Netherlands qualify for the Euros.

Dekker loves to run at his opponents and is an excellent crosser of the ball, providing 17 assists for Ajax’s U19’s last season, including three in the UEFA Youth League.

Dekker will likely line-up on the right hand side with Bergwijn on the left, and both will be tasked with providing the ammunition for Lammers or van der Heijden.

van der heijden adoDennis van der Heijden

The lanky striker made a name for himself as a super-sub last season after coming off the bench to net two goals on his debut for the ADO Den Haag first team.

The 19-year-old was prolific for the ADO Den Haag U19 side as well last season and has been preferred over NEC Nijmegen’s Jay-Roy Grot for the second striker spot in the squad. Van der Heijden is yet to appear for Netherlands at U19 level, but will look to use his height as a weapon in the box.

lammers pdvSam Lammers

Lammers has been a revelation in the PSV U19 side over the past year and has emerged as an excellent prospect for both club and country.

The 19-year-old has netted seven times in ten appearances for Netherlands U19’s and is now a regular for PSV’s U21’s in the Eerste Divisie, scoring twice in sixteen appearances last season.

Lammers is a typical number nine, using his strength and height to bully defenders, but he also has a great touch on the ball and has been utilised as a number ten in the past. Expect Lammers to flourish with the service from Nouri, Bergwijn and Dekker.

Expect Lammers to flourish with the service from Nouri, Bergwijn and Dekker and would be a good bet to fnish the tournament as top scorer.

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