In Focus: Five Eredivisie young guns to watch next season

Sean Wilson
LiveScore
Ajax star Jurrien Timber is on Manchester United's wishlist this summer
Ajax star Jurrien Timber is on Manchester United's wishlist this summer

The Eredivisie is one of the most prolific producers of talent in Europe — and shows no sign of letting up.

Youngsters are regularly afforded plenty of opportunities to develop into highly technical and tactically adept players.

As a result, Europe's elite often turn to the Netherlands in search of undiscovered prospects that will not break the bank.

LiveScore pick out five young guns who could light up the Eredivisie in 2022-23.

Jurrien Timber

Jurrien Timber's profile has been raised by Manchester United's reported interest this summer.

But the Ajax centre-back, 21, appears set to remain in the Netherlands in pursuit of a spot in Louis van Gaal's World Cup squad this winter.

Speaking in May, he said: "In the end, my gut feeling will be the deciding factor. The picture has to be right.

"You can go to a big club. But if you're not going to play there it's better to stay with Ajax.

"And Ajax is also a big club. We play football in the Champions League and I play there together with the best players in the Netherlands. That is not nothing."

It is easy to see why Erik ten Hag would want to bring his old charge to Manchester. Timber ranks among the best passers in the Eredivisie and is crucial to Ajax's build-up play from deep.

The eight-cap Dutch international can play at right-back, another problem position for the Red Devils last term.

Noni Madueke

Noni Madueke struck three times in European fixtures last season
Noni Madueke struck three times in European fixtures last season

PSV forward Noni Madueke is a single-minded, determined attacking force.

The 20-year-old presses ferociously, is devastating in one-on-one situations and always looks to test the opposition goalkeeper.

After breaking into the first team in 2020-21, last season was supposed to be the campaign in which he established himself as a regular. But injury problems disrupted his rhythm.

Born in the London borough of Barnet, Madueke started out at Crystal Palace before moving to Tottenham.

He traded North London for Eindhoven in 2018 and has been capped by the England Under-21s.

If he can stay fit, the explosive forward has all the tools to take the Eredivisie by storm in 2022-23.

Mohammed Kudus

Mohammed Kudus is ready for his breakout campaign at Ajax.

The Ghanaian central midfielder's opportunities have been limited since his move from Nordsjaelland in 2020 but that could be about to change.

Midfield sensation Ryan Gravenberch's Bayern Munich switch has opened up a space in the centre — and Kudus has all the tools to grab that chance with both hands.

A forward-thinking midfielder, Kudus is an efficient dribbler who links up well in the final third and pops up in dangerous scoring positions.

However, what really stands out about the 21-year-old is his hunger to win the ball back in advanced areas before demonstrating his technical prowess.

Orkun Kokcu

Orkun Kokcu helped Feyenoord reach the inaugural Europa Conference League final in 2021-22
Orkun Kokcu helped Feyenoord reach the inaugural Europa Conference League final in 2021-22

Another player who could be Premier League-bound sooner rather than later is Feyenoord midfielder Orkun Kokcu.

With the Rotterdam outfit in financial difficulty, Kokcu could be sold to ease the issue.

He said: "The club has been very clear about the financial situation and it is clear that it is not good.

"So if a club comes with a good proposal for me, I imagine that it will be listened to."

The 21-year-old is contracted until the summer of 2025 but that has not stopped West Ham and Leicester from trailing the Turkish international.

Born in Haarlem in the Netherlands, the playmaker has represented Turkey at senior level despite spending his professional career in the country of his birth.

A dangerous free-kick taker with an eye for a pass, Kokcu supplied seven goals and the same number of assists for Arne Slot’s men in 2021-22 — making it the most prolific season of his career to date.

Devyne Rensch

Ajax's Devyne Rensch operated effectively at right-back in the Champions League last term
Ajax's Devyne Rensch operated effectively at right-back in the Champions League last term

Another Ajax youngster who is set to benefit from the sale of a senior star is Devyne Rensch.

The defender will be keen to fill the void left by right-back Noussair Mazraoui who has followed team-mate Gravenberch to Bayern.

Like Gravenberch, he is one of five Dutch nominees for the Golden Boy award for Europe’s best player aged 21 and under.

Rensch, 19, is extremely versatile. Though a right-back by trade, he is able to play on the opposite flank, in the centre of defence and even in midfield.

The teenager was handed a good chunk of playing time last term and has enough experience under his belt to become the club’s first-choice full-back.

Tags

EredivisieAjaxFeyenoord
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