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The Netherlands have had a history of producing some of the finest talents in the world. Johan Cruyff, Marco Van Basten, Frank Rijkaard, Dennis Bergkamp and Robin Van Persie are only a few that come to mind. But despite coming third in the 2014 World Cup Holland failed to qualify for Euro 2016.
The mercurial talents of Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder are coming to an end, so who are the latest crop of emerging young talents?
A controversial choice because of his time so far at Manchester United, but there is no doubting Depay’s natural talent. There was huge anticipation at Old Trafford following £31 million arrival, top goal scorer for PSV the previous season and coveting the famous number seven jersey for United.
Depay had a good start bagging a brace in the champions league with two exceptional goals. He currently has seven goals in 33 appearances for the club, but really he has only just begun to find his feet at the club.
At 22, he still has lots of room for development.
Bazoer made the controversial move to Ajax from PSV at the tender of age 16. Considered the ultimate betrayal by PSV fans. He is now hotly tipped as one of the hottest prospects in European football. He has been a mainstay in the Ajax team for almost a year now and has been going from strength-to-strength.
Big in stature and build like a boxer, he can play anywhere in central midfield. He has largely been deployed further up the field by Frank de Boer this season, due to his fantastic skill and technical ability.
But his future realistically remains as a deep lying midfielder. It won’t be long before the big clubs come calling and Bazoer has already expressed his desire to play for Barcelona.
It seems as though this young lad has been about for ever. He made his Netherlands debut at the age of 18 and has been an ever present force for PSV. This could well be the last season in the Netherlands for Willems as the big teams come calling. He was almost bought by Manchester United in 2012 as Sir Alex Ferguson looked for the next ‘Patrice Evra.’
He has helped the club to a Dutch Cup and Eredivise title at PSV and they are well on their way to another league title. He will most likely follow Depay’s footsteps and onto bigger things.
The winger has been banging them in for fun this season, at only at 20-years of age, he looks a precocious talent. He made his debut last year and scored 10 goals for Ajax in 43 appearances. He has already matched that this season in 14 games less.
Supposedly a target for both of the Manchester clubs and Barcelona. Will he stay out of the clutches of the European super powers?
The oldest player on the list at 23. But the attacking forward still has lots to offer. He has a very similar playing style to his former team mate and captain Siem de Jong. Troubled by injuries at times, the number 10 is still a very gifted footballer and is now captain of the club.
He currently has 13 goals in all competitions and will play a pivotal part as Ajax push for the title. He may be the only player on the list not to leave the Netherlands until later on in his career.
So even though the Netherlands will not be competing for the European crown in France, the future certainly looks bright for them.
Written by Edward Ware
Follow Edward on Twitter @wade_edward
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