Some of the greatest players to have graced the Premier League hail from the Netherlands. The Oranje has provided some of the biggest and brightest talents to have played in England. Many big names have decided to switch Holland for England in the past.
But who would the all-time greatest Dutch XI to have featured in the Premier League?
Goalkeeper – Edwin van der Sar
Former Manchester United and Fulham goalkeeper, Edwin van der Sar was the easy choice for our goalkeeper. The 45-year-old is one of the most decorated footballers in history, with 25 major honours to his name. The former Juventus goalkeeper holds the world league clean sheet record after not conceding for 1,311 minutes. van der Sar is the most capped Netherlands international of all-time and is regarded by many as the greatest goalkeeper of all-time. The goalkeeper also came out of retirement in March 2016 to play for amateur side VW Noordwijk where he saved a penalty.
Right-Back – Mario Melchiot
A lack of Dutch right-backs in the Premier League means Mario Melchiot takes up the position. Melchiot joined Chelsea from Ajax in 1999 but found first-team opportunities restricted at Stamford Bridge. He soon became an important member of the squad under Claudio Ranieri and lifted the FA Cup in 2000. The defender also had playing spells with Birmingham and Wigan in the Premier League. Melchiot now works as a regular pundit for Fox Sports in the United States.
Centre Back – Jaap Stam
Manchester United broke their transfer record in 1998 when they secured the services of Jaap Stam for £10.6m from PSV Eindhoven. Stam spent three seasons in Manchester where he quickly became a fan favourite. The defender won the treble in his first season at Old Trafford and added two more Premier League titles as well as an FA Cup to his trophy cabinet. He was controversially sold to Lazio and Sir Alex Ferguson admitted he regretted letting the former Ajax defender leave. Stam is currently the manager of Championship side Reading.
Centre Back – Daley Blind
Daley Blind was another to swap the Eredivisie for Manchester United when he left Ajax in 2014 in a £13.8m deal to join Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford. Although naturally a defensive midfielder, Blind was transformed into a hugely effective centre-back by LVG during his time in England. The Dutch international could now be seen as a modern-day centre-half; following in the footsteps of Javier Mascherano and Javi Martinez to make the move from midfield to defence. Blind was also a part of the Manchester United side to lift the FA Cup last season.
Left-Back – Giovanni van Bronckhorst
Former Dutch international, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, was signed by Arsene Wenger in 2001 to play alongside Patrick Vieira in the centre of midfield. Although van Bronckhorst made 21 appearances and picked up a Premier League and FA Cup medal during his time with the Gunners, his spell in England was disrupted with a serious knee injury. He went on to join Barcelona and now manages his former side, Feyenoord.
Defensive Midfield – Edgar Davids
Former Juventus and Barcelona midfielder, Edgar Davids, enjoyed a short spell in England with Tottenham Hotspur. Even though he made just 44 appearances for the Lilywhites, he made a huge impact on the club’s performances as Spurs finish fifth in back-to-back seasons. Davids was best known for his dreadlocks and goggles which he wore due to suffering from glaucoma and is widely remembered as one of the best defensive midfielders of all-time.
Right Midfield – Marc Overmars
Former Ajax winger, Marc Overmars, was one of Wenger’s first signings at Arsenal as the Frenchman paid £7m for the winger’s services. Overmars enjoyed a stellar debut season in North London and secured a domestic double thanks to his 16 goals. Although he was never able to replicate his early season form, Overmars was sold to Barcelona for £25m which made him the most expensive Dutchman of all-time. The 43-year-old went on to play for Go Ahead Eagles before taking up the Director of Football role at Ajax in 2012.
Left Midfield – Arjen Robben
Chelsea famously secured the services of Arjen Robben under the noses of rivals Manchester United in 2004. The winger helped the Blues to back-to-back titles in his three years at Stamford Bridge. Robben netted 19 goals in 105 appearances for Chelsea before being sold to Real Madrid in 2007 for around £24m. The Dutch international went on to join Bayern Munich where he has established himself as one of the best wingers in the world and has lifted five Bundesliga titles as well as one Champions League crown.
Forward – Dennis Bergkamp
Arsenal signed one of the most gifted footballers of all-time back in 1995 when the Gunners broke their transfer record to bring Dennis Bergkamp to the club. It was the appointment of Wenger which transformed Bergkamp’s career and moulded him into one of the greatest of all-time. The ‘Non-Flying Dutchman’ scored some of the most memorable goals in history during his time in North London. He lifted three Premier League titles and two FA Cup trophies and will always be remembered as one of the best players of his generation. Bergkamp is now assistant manager to Frank de Boer at Ajax.
Forward – Robin van Persie
Despite being plagued by injuries for the majority of his career, Robin Van Persie was one of the most lethal finishers the Premier League has ever seen. After scoring 132 goals in eight seasons at Arsenal, RVP left for Premier League rivals Manchester United for just £20m following a contract dispute. He secured the Premier League title in his first season with the Red Devils but soon fell out-of-favour at the club due to injuries. He left for Fenerbache for just £3m but has been linked with a move back to the Premier League with Stoke City interested.
Forward – Ruud van Nistelrooy
Another Manchester United Dutch forward enjoyed similar success at Old Trafford as Ruud van Nistelrooy is remembered as one as the club’s best-ever strikers. He is the fourth-highest goalscorer in Champions League history and scored 150 goals in just 219 games in the red of Manchester United. He won the La Liga twice following a move to Real Madrid and went on to play for Hamburger and Malaga. van Nistelrooy is now the assistant manager of the Netherlands national team.
Who do you think was the best Dutch player to have played in the Premier League?