Following the closing of the transfer window, Football Oranje takes a look back at a record summer for the Eredivisie, in terms of transfers in and out of the league.

  • By Nicholas Koopman
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ziyech ajaThe transfer window is one of the most exciting and nerve-racking experiences for any Eredivisie fan. A summer filled with dreams and trepidation, your favourite club signing the next superstar or your favourite player succumbing to the lures of foreign interest or even worse a rival team.

This year, it all started with the transfer of Jean-Willy Mapinga from NEC to Almere City and ended with Matthew Miazga joining Vitesse on loan. In total the KNVB recorded 582 transfers, five more than the 577 set in 2015, a new Eredivisie record!

This was a summer of flux, particularly at the top clubs, as established Eredivisie names made way for new arrivals into the league. This is shown in the statistics as 170 players moved out of the Eredivisie to a foreign club, while 133 players moved to the league from abroad. However, as usual, it was again a summer dominated by domestic deals with the lion’s share of transfers, a total of 279, moving between clubs in the Netherlands.

Below we take a look at some of the highlights:

Busiest team:

Ajax – A summer of total change for the Amsterdam giants, thirty-one transfers in and out of the club. The established manager Frank de Boer joined Inter Milan after six years in charge and in came new man Peter Bosz.

A number of big names departed for pastures new such as Jasper Cillessen (Barcelona), Arek Milik (Napoli) and Viktor Fischer (Middlesbrough). In order to fill gaps in the squad, Ajax then spent big on players such as Mateo Casierra (Deportivo Cali), Davinson Sánchez (Atlético Nacional) and Hakim Ziyech (Twente), plus adding experience in the form of Heiko Westermann (Real Betis) and Tim Krul (Loan – Newcastle) in order to try to bridge the gap to PSV.

Astute signing:

Nicolai Jörgensen – FC Copenhagen to Feyenoord

Danish forward Jorgensen joined Feyenoord for €3.5 million in July and the striker already looks like a bargain, helping Feyenoord go unbeaten in their first four games with two goals and an assist. Last year, Feyenoord struggled to find the net, especially against mid-table opposition or after going a goal down during a game, ultimately derailing their title challenge.

This year Feyenoord look a different team with Jorgensen. The Dane has combined well with Kuyt along with wingers Elia and Berghuis, to become an integral player straight away. Jorgensen now gives Feyenoord that extra creative dimension and resilience, that should help the club find more goals and mount a serious challenge for the Eredivise this season.

Star Transfer:

Hakim Ziyech – FC Twente to Ajax

In one of the most protracted sagas of the transfer window, Ajax beat a number of clubs to the signature of attacking midfielder Ziyech for €11 million. During his time at FC Twente, Ziyech scored thirty-two goals and thirty assists in what was a truly remarkable spell in Enschede. Ajax will be hoping for more of the same, during his time in Amsterdam, in order to help them regain their place at the top of Dutch football.

Ziyech’s debut will be against Vitesse in the Amsterdam Arena on Saturday 10th September.

Surprising transfer:

Mathias Pogba – Partick Thistle to Sparta Rotterdam

The brother of Manchester United’s Paul Pogba signed for Sparta Rotterdam after his deal at Partick Thistle was terminated. The striker only scored three times in thirty-six appearances in Scotland, so it was a shock to see this deal completed on deadline day.

However, if Mathias is anything like his brother, Sparta should see an increase in style and flair both on and off the pitch. The striker’s physicality should suit the Eredivisie, due to him being strong and versatile, so don’t be surprised, if given the chance, he becomes one of the top scorers for Sparta Rotterdam or even the Eredivisie.

Pogba’s debut will be against Groningen on Sunday 11th September.

Potential flop:

Edson Braafheid – Lazio to FC Utrecht

Although a free transfer, this deal already looks questionable. Braafheid is a player in the autumn of his career, and a return to his first club looked like it was the perfect swansong to a glittering career, after spells at teams such as Bayern Munich and Celtic.

However, following a horrible Achilles tendon injury, Braafheid now faces a long time on the side lines after making just one appearance. FC Utrecht signed a long term replacement in Robin van der Meer on deadline day, so it is uncertain whether Braafheid will even be in contention on his return from injury.

Quietest team:

Feyenoord – The KNVB Beker winners and Rotterdam giants had a relatively quiet transfer window, with only 11 transfers in and out of the club. Feyenoord were smart with their additions, addressing key weaknesses within the team, showing that sometimes less is more with regards to squad management. This along with loan moves for promising young players such as Jari Schuurman (Willem II) means that the future should be bright in Rotterdam.

Expect Feyenoord to be in contention for silverware come the end of the season.

Key Additions – Nicolai Jorgensen (FC Copenhagen), Brad Jones (Free – NEC) AND Steven Berghuis (Loan – Watford)

Nicholas Koopman (93 Posts)