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With the 2011-12 campaign halfway through, we select the best of the best from the Netherlands' top flight in the first half of the season

Eredivisie

Team Of The Season So Far:

2011-12

Table/Results
GOALKEEPER

Esteban
AZ

The Costa Rican goalkeeper faced a tough task to replace Argentina international Sergio Romero between the sticks in Alkmaar, but Esteban has done a great job for the table toppers so far. The 22-year-old has kept nine clean sheets in 17 appearances and has been one of the revelations of the season.
DEFENDERS

Kelvin Leerdam
Feyenoord


Guram Kashia
Vitesse


Douglas
Twente


Simon Poulsen
AZ

A midfielder by nature, Leerdam struggled to make an impact at right-back in the past few seasons, but the Netherlands Under-21 star has been in impressive form in the first half of the 2011-12 campaign. The defender has missed only two games so far and has played an important role in Feyenoord's surprisingly good performances.

At centre-back, Vitesse skipper Kashia beat the likes of Marcelo, Virgil van Dijk and Jan Vertonghen to a spot in the best XI so far following a string of excellent displays. The Georgia international has been rock solid for the Arnhem side and is always dangerous going forward at set pieces. He hasn't missed a single game to date, and netted the winner against Heracles earlier this month to cap his fine form.

The second centre-back in the 4-2-3-1 formation is Twente's Douglas. The Brazilian defender has developed into one of the best defenders in the Netherlands since his arrival in 2007. Let down more than once by his colleagues at the back, Douglas always maintains his composure and leads by example to keep the Enschede side's title ambitions alive.

Good left-backs have become somewhat of a rarity in modern football, but Poulsen has shown that he's one of the few reliable full-backs left in Holland's top flight. The Dane was hardly ever troubled in his defensive duties in the first half of the term and proved to be a real asset going forward with his two goals and several assists.

HOLDING MIDFIELDERS

Rasmus Elm
AZ

 
Kevin Strootman
PSV

After two relatively quiet seasons at AZ, Elm has really sprung to life this season. The Sweden international has been the Alkmaar side's undisputed star player in the opening months of the campaign and every single attack starts at the playmaker's feet. He hardly ever loses possession and his impressive shooting skills have already resulted in eight league goals.

Barely one year ago, Strootman was still plying his trade in the Eerstedivisie at Sparta, but the midfielder has since developed into PSV's vice captain and has become a regular in the national team. The former Utrecht ace moved to Eindhoven in the summer transfer window for a fee close to €7 million (£5.8m), and has proven to be more than worth the money with his commanding displays.

ATTACKING MIDFIELDERS

Luciano Narsingh
Heerenveen


Christian Eriksen
Ajax

 
Dries Mertens
PSV

The Heerenveen attack is considered by many to be one of the best frontlines of the Eredivisie, and Narsingh has certainly done his utmost to justify the hype. The right winger has been unstoppable at times and has already provided 10 assists, as well as scoring five goals himself in 17 appearances.

Manchester United are closely watching Eriksen, and the Ajax playmaker will continue to attract admirers if he keeps up his good form from the first half of the season. The youngster has set up nine goals for the Amsterdam giants, and scored four himself. The 19-year-old will have fond memories of the win over Roda in particular when he was involved in all four of Ajax's goals.

After impressing at Utrecht for several years, Mertens made the step up to PSV this summer, and the Eindhoven giants won't regret their investment. The Belgium international is the Eredivisie's MVP so far with 13 goals and nine assists, and it's only a matter of time before he'll catch the attention of clubs from bigger leagues.

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STRIKER
 
Bas Dost
Heerenveen

The 22-year-old Dost has been simply excellent in the first half of the season and leads the goalscoring charts with 14 goals in 17 appearances. His highlight so far was the away game against Excelsior where he scored all of Heerenveen's five goals. The towering striker was close to joining Ajax some 12 months ago, but in hindsight, Dost won't be too disappointed that the move fell through.


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