Ranking the 5 Best Netherlands Transfers to the Premier League
This weekend, it became apparent Netherlands defender and midfielder Daley Blind will move from Dutch side Ajax to Manchester United.
Blind is not the first Dutch footballer to make a move to the Premier League. Whether straight from the Dutch league or via other competitions, plenty of other Netherlands stars have made the step.
Here, we rank the five best Netherlands transfers to the Premier League.
In these rankings, we won't just look at the quality of the player involved: We'll also look at the circumstances in which their deals were made.
All in all, this list will make things clear about a bunch of really good footballers and the Premier League managers who signed them.
5. Daley Blind
It remains to be seen whether Blind will become a valuable member of manager Louis van Gaal's first XI, but at first sight, the acquisition of Blind seems like a shrewd move by the Red Devils.
Blind's tactical awareness and versatility could solve multiple problems in one go. Able to play at left-back, as well as centre-back and in the centre of midfield, it's almost as if Blind is three players in one.
Will Blind solve all of United's problems in midfield? Probably not. Will he add depth and cover to a squad in desperate need of improvement? It's more than likely he will.
4. Arjen Robben
Later, he would go on to play for Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, but it was at Chelsea where Arjen Robben first rose to prominence.
Signing for the London-based club in 2004, the Dutch superstar winger played in the Premier League for three years, winning the competition twice in a row—in 2004 and 2005.
With the Dutch national team, Robben reached the final of the World Cup in 2010 and third place in 2014.
Not bad at all for a skinny and relatively injury-prone winger from Bedum, a small town in the North of the Netherlands. It's safe to say that at the time, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho made a good judgment of Robben's talents.
3. Dennis Bergkamp
He didn't move from the Dutch Eredivisie straight to the Premier League, making a small detour past Inter in Italy instead. Nonetheless, this list wouldn't be complete without Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp.
Having played for Arsenal for 11 years, Bergkamp is without a doubt the best Dutch player to have worn the red and white shirt, and probably the best Dutch footballer to have played in the Premier League.
Now Frank de Boer's assistant manager at Ajax, a return to England as a coach would not be entirely unimaginable for Bergkamp.
Who knows, maybe the Premier League will see him again someday.
2. Robin van Persie
Sure, he was regarded as one of the brightest talents the league had to offer. But back in 2004, right before he moved from Feyenoord to Arsenal, Robin van Persie wasn't seen as one of the best players of the Eredivisie.
The problem, it seemed, was that Van Persie hadn't cemented his own style of play yet, and consequently, he hadn't found maturity as a footballer.
Luckily for Van Persie, there was Arsene Wenger. The Arsenal manager, always looking for a youngster to tutor into a world-class player, snapped the Dutchman up from Feyenoord and molded him into the fine player he is today.
The rest is history. When fit, Van Persie is now seen as one of the best strikers in the world.
Looking back at it, Wenger could have done a lot worse back in 2004.
1. Ruud van Nistelrooy
Possibly the greatest out-and-out Dutch striker to play in the Premier League, Ruud van Nistelrooy tops the list.
Of course, Bergkamp was a more technical footballer, and as an attacker, Van Persie is probably more all-round. But when it comes to goals, it's difficult to see past "Van the Man," who scored 95 in 150 appearances for Manchester United.
What's more, back in 2001, the acquisition of Van Nistelrooy by the Red Devils was a very shrewd piece of business: Van Nistelrooy had been injured for a year, and manager Sir Alex Ferguson put great faith in the striker to pay £19 million for him, despite concerns over his fitness.
All in all, Van Nistelrooy's move from PSV to Manchester United is unquestionably the best transfer of a Netherlands player to the Premier League.