Five of the biggest Premier League flops signed from the Eredivisie

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Premier League clubs have long looked to the talents of Dutch football when it comes to strengthening their sides, though history warns that purchases from the Eredivisie can often prove to be high risk.

Whilst the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy and Luis Suarez thrived after making the switch to English football, there is a long list of others to have famously flopped upon their Premier League arrivals.

Tottenham and Chelsea are the latest clubs to have raided the Eredivisie for talent by securing the signings of PSV’s Steven Bergwijn and Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech respectively, and each will be hoping their recent recruits can avoid the fates of the players on this list.

Here are five of the biggest Premier League flops signed from the Eredivisie…

Mateja Kezman (PSV to Chelsea, 2004)

Jose Mourinho’s arrival as Chelsea manager in 2004 coincided with a significant summer spend, Roman Abramovich’s billions being spent as the west London club sought to challenge the established elite both at home and in Europe.

Amongst the new arrivals at the club would be Kezman, the forward arriving in the Premier League after scoring 105 goals in just 122 league appearances for PSV, finishing as the division’s top scorer in three of his four seasons in the Netherlands and being named as Dutch Footballer of the Year in 2003.

Arriving alongside teammate Arjen Robben after the two had struck up a fine partnership in the Eredivisie, Kezman would struggle to make an impact in English football and found opportunities limited due to the presence of Didier Drogba and Eidur Gudjohnsen.

A goal in the League Cup final against Liverpool was a highlight in an otherwise disappointing campaign that would yield just just four league goals, Mourinho choosing to sell the player to Atletico Madrid after just one season of limited impact.

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Afonso Alves (Heerenveen to Middlesbrough, 2008)

Some of Brazilian football’s great forwards have plundered goals with regularity in the Netherlands, but any hopes Middlesbrough fans had of having signed the next Ronaldo or Romario soon deteriorated following Alves’ club record move to Teeside in 2008.

Like those illustrious names before him, Alves would finish as the top scorer in the Eredivsie after hitting 34 goals in just 31 appearances for Heerenveen in 2007/08, joining Middlesbrough in a deal worth £12.5m with a burgeoning reputation as a prolific goalscorer.

Alves would enjoy a bright start following his mid-season arrival and score six times over his first 11 league appearances, though his first full campaign in the North East would see him struggle to rediscover his goalscoring touch.

He would score just four league goals in 31 appearances as Middlesbrough struggled near the foot of the Premier League, the club relegated to the Championship following a miserable top flight campaign.

Alves would fail to stick around for their attempts to regain promotion from the second tier, moving swiftly on to Al-Sadd in a £7m deal after a disappointing spell in England.

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Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar to Sunderland, 2013)

Another player to have scored prolifically in Dutch football, US international Altidore would be the latest player to discover that Premier League defences were a much more difficult proposition than their Eredivisie counterparts.

Despite struggling during a previous loan spell in English football at Hull City, Sunderland opted to splash £8.5m to bring the powerful forward back to the Premier League following a prolific spell at AZ Alkmaar.

Altidore had hit 51 goals over two seasons in all competitions for AZ, but he would soon struggle to replicate those goalscoring exploits upon his move to the North East.

He would score just a solitary league goal in 42 Premier League appearances, taking his tally to just two goals in 70 appearances during miserable spells at both the Black Cats and Hull.

Just 18 months after his arrival he would be shipped out to Toronto FC in an exchange deal for Jermain Defoe, the forward having since rebuilt his career following a return to MLS.

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Memphis Depay (PSV to Manchester United, 2015)

Regarded as one of the finest young talents in European football following his emergence at PSV, Depay would star for the Dutch side to earn a big-money move to the Premier League.

The winger had inspired PSV to the league title and finished as the division’s top scorer during his final season at the club, moving to Old Trafford in a £25m deal and inheriting the club’s famed number seven shirt.

Louis van Gaal had hoped his compatriot would make a huge impression upon his arrival in English football, though Depay would struggle to adjust to the demands of the Premier League and scored just twice in 33 league appearances.

Jose Mourinho’s appointment as Van Gaal’s successor would prove to be the beginning of the end for Depay in Manchester, falling out-of-favour before being sold to Lyon where he has since rediscovered his goalscoring touch.

Evidently talented, United are believed to have inserted a buy-back clause in that deal, though whether the club would be willing to take another risk on a player who flopped previously remains to be seen.

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Vincent Janssen (AZ Alkmaar to Tottenham, 2016)

Another Eredivsie top goalscorer, another monumental Premier League flop.

Janssen would arrive at Tottenham in the summer of 2016 after being named as Dutch football’s Talent of the Year, though like many before him struggled with the transition into the English game.

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Signed in a £17m deal to provide competition for Harry Kane, it soon became apparent that the forward was not up to the required standard as he struggled spectacularly in north London.

He would make just seven league starts during a debut season which would prove to be a major disappointment, Janssen scoring just six goals in 42 appearances for the club – four of those from the penalty spot.

His struggles would see him quickly deemed surplus to requirements and he would join Fenerbahce on loan, eventually signing for Mexican side Monterrey on a permanent deal in 2019.

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