10 young Dutch stars who can rescue Netherlands from international exile


Having failed to qualify for a second straight international tournament, the Netherlands national team is in disarray.

Arjen Robben's retirement leaves them lacking a real star to shake up the attack, while the midfield has been useless ahead of a shaky defence.

Holland 21/20 to beat Scotland

A change in coach is coming as Dick Advocaat plays out the final games of his contract against Scotland and Romania, while the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Ryan Babel and Robin van Persie will likely be phased out.

The Netherlands are in much need of an injection of talented players, then, as they look to put together a side capable of reaching Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup.

With a new generation of Dutch players making a push for the national team, Goal takes a look at 10 young players who can shake them up and play a key role in the future of the national team.


Frenkie de Jong Ajax Manchester United Europa League final

The 20-year-old midfielder has been making a name for himself since joining Ajax from Willem II at the start of 2016.

Impressing in substitute appearances under Marcel Keizer, he is set to become a key player for the Amsterdam side with his pace, close control and good passes.

The Under-21 international has great potential and can play a key part in the national team if he continues to develop.


Steven Bergwijn PSV

Named by Memphis Depay as his successor as PSV’s next young star, the winger is yet to take over as the main man in Eindhoven, but he has become a regular for Phillip Cocu’s Eredivisie leaders.

He is still too wasteful, but the 20-year-old winger has shown he is a dangerous, quick and skillful winger.

Bergwijn made headlines for a sensational goal in the win over Utrecht and is expected to attract even more attention as he progresses.


Rick van Drongelen Hamburg

After his summer move from Heracles, 18-year-old Rick van Drongelen was thrown immediately into the starting XI at Hamburg.

He looked a classy centre-back from the beginning of his debut Eredivisie season and it was all he needed to earn the move to Germany.

Although a brief injury unsettled his start, he has dealt with the change well and is likely to keep his place. If that happens, it won't be long before the national team comes calling.


With five games already this season, 19-year-old midfielder Guus Til has made himself a key player at AZ.

The tall Under-21 international made fleeting appearances for John van den Brom's side last term but is never out of the team this time around.

AZ rewarded his good performances with a new contract and the early signs are positive. If he maintains this form, there will soon be talk of an Oranje debut.


Matthijs de Ligt Ajax

The 18-year-old's debut in the national team may have been a disaster, but Matthis de Ligt is on his way to becoming an Oranje star. 

His errors helped Bulgaria to a 2-1 win over the Dutch in a crucial World Cup qualifier, but it was subsequently sacked coach Danny Blind who took most criticism for that.

Still ever-present in Ajax's starting XI, Barcelona are said to be tracking the eager centre-back who caught a lot of attention in the run up to last season's Europa League final.


He is only 17 and playing in the second tier, but Perr Schuurs is already captain of promotion hopefuls Fortuna Sittard, who sit third in the league.

With three goals and an assist from his 10 Eerste Divisie games, he looks set for a quick rise to the top flight and beyond. 

Ajax and PSV have already shown an interest, while Liverpool are said to be tracking him too. 


The cruciate ligament injury the winger suffered just eight minutes into the first game of the season against PSV was a devastating blow for AZ.

Stengs had made just six first-team appearances before then, but he had been outstanding with two goals and two assists in four games as AZ narrowly missed out on a spot in the Europa League.

If the 18-year-old recovers from his unfortunate injury and returns to those bombastic displays, the national team will not be far out of his sights.


Timothy Fosu-Mensah of Manchester United

Although Netherlands went down 4-0 to France, Timothy Fosu-Mensah emerged from his only Oranje game to date with pride and respect.

While the team crumbled under the pressure from Paul Pogba & Co., Fosu-Mensah looked great at right-back and was perhaps the only positive for the Dutch.

Currently on loan at Crystal Palace, his side may be struggling as much as his national team, but the 20-year-old looks comfortable in the Premier League and will surely get more chances to help stabilise his country's erratic back line.


Donny van de Beek Ajax

As he progressed through Ajax's youth academy, Donny van de Beek generated a great deal of excitement as a player destined to reach the first-team.

The sale of Davy Klaassen to Everton has allowed the 20-year-old to take his place in the first-team and he looks at ease there.

He is yet to make his national team debut, but it seems only a matter of time as Oranje look to revitalise an unstable midfield.


Jeremiah St Juste Feyenoord

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Although his breakthrough into Feyenoord's starting XI has coincided with their dismal run in the Champions League and Eredivisie, 21-year-old Jeremiah St Juste has looked worthy of his spot.

St Juste joined from Heerenveen in the summer and is one of the few Feyenoord players not to have looked well out of depth in Europe so far.

Already the Netherlands Under-21 captain in their current Under-21 Euro qualifying campaign, he can develop into a sound centre-back for the upcoming generation,