After a summer of high profile departures, including Memphis Depay, Jordy Clasie and Jesus Corona we have had six weeks of action in the Eredivisie, with a new crop of players already taking the league by storm.

Below are five of the outstanding performers so far this season

Anwar El Ghazi – Ajax

Last season fans of the Eredivisie got to witness the rise of Memphis Depay from PSV winger to Dutch superstar, and it now seems to be the turn of Anwar El Ghazi to take the league by storm. The 20-year-old Ajax winger has started the season in outstanding form, netting seven goals in six games for the league league leaders to propel himself to the top of the goal-scoring charts.

A direct and pacey attacker, El Ghazi has tormented defences in the Eredivisie so far and has proved almost unstoppable when running at his opponents. Possessing excellent ball control, a fierce right foot, and aerial prowess, comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo have already been made, while Chelsea scout Piet de Visser has admitted the club are keeping tabs on his progress.

If El Ghazi keeps up his outstanding form this season then following in Memphis footsteps to the Premier League seem inevitable, but the big question in Netherlands is over his international preference, with the winger still undecided over whether to represent the nation of his birth, or Morocco.

Lars Veldwijk – PEC Zwolle

The tall striker returned to Netherlands on loan from Nottingham Forest after an unsuccessful year-long spell in England, but Veldwijk has started the season on fire with six goals in his last four games, including a hat-trick against his former club Excelsior.

PEC Zwolle were worried about their attack after losing Tomas Necid in the summer, but they have found his perfect replacement in Veldwijk, who’s goals have lifted the club to third in the table. Veldwijk doesn’t only possess good height and strength, he is also very accomplished with the ball at his feet, not only showing off good dribbling skills but his link up play and passing around the box especially with teammate Sheraldo Becker has been excellent.

With Nottingham Forest currently languishing in mid-table their fans must be wondering why Veldwijk wasn’t given his chance.

Oussama Tannane – Heracles Almelo

Heracles have been the surprise package of the season, with the club that battled against relegation last season currently sitting 2nd in the table after five wins in a row, including a 2-1 victory over champions PSV. Star of the show so far has been Oussama Tannane, who has inspired the club with his explosive talent on the right wing.

The 21-year-old had a difficult season last year after struggling with problems off the field, but now with these issues sorted out he seems to finally be fulfilling his endless potential. Tannane is an excellent dribbler of the ball, while his powerful left foot has seen him net five goals so far, including four in the 6-1 hammering of Cambuur.

If Tannane can keep his head down and focus on football then Heracles have a special talent on their hands, who could lead them to a more than comfortable season.

Luuk de Jong – PSV Eindhoven

After returning to the Eredivisie last summer De Jong enjoyed a magnificent season, netting twenty goals and adding eleven assists in the title winning campaign. The 25-year-old has continued that excellent form this season, with six goals in his opening six games.

With both Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum leaving before the start of the season, De Jong has been expected to step up and lead PSV, not only taking over the goal-scoring mantle but also the captain’s armband. So far De Jong has not let his side down and he is undoubtedly the most lethal striker in the league at the moment, with defences seemingly unable to deal with his movement in the box and aerial power.

There are even calls for De Jong to take over from Robin van Persie and Klaas jan Huntelaar in the Netherlands national team, and its hard to argue with that giving the former Borussia Monchngladbach and Newcastle United forwards form.

Jairo Riedewald – Ajax

One of the most exciting young talents in Dutch football, Riedewald has been outstanding this season after establishing himself in the centre back role alongside Joel Veltman, and the duo are currently part of the strongest defence in the Eredivisie, conceding only twice in six games.

Riedewald has played all along the backline and in midfield since making his debut for Ajax at 17 and uses all the aspects of those positions in his favoured role in the middle of defence. The 19-year-old is tall and good in the air like any good centre back should be, but he is also quick like a full back, and possesses the calmness on the ball of a seasoned midfielder. Stats of this season show that Riedewald has completed more passes than any other player in the league so far.

Already a part of the Dutch national team and earning comparisons to Frank Rijkaard, Riedewald’s rise to the top of the game shows no signs of slowing down.

About the author – Michael Bell
A freelance writer based in Edinburgh, Michael is the founder and editor of Football-Oranje, a website dedicated to all things Dutch football.

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