Eredivisie Gameweek 24: 5 stand-out performers
This Eredivisie game-week was filled with mouth-watering matches as table-toppers PSV dropped two points at their home whilst Ajax and AZ Alkmaar winning their ties. Feyenoord in the interim will beyond any doubt linger to close the 8 point gap to get a direct qualification in the Europa League as there Champions League dreams have already been shattered after a poor start to the season.
So here are our top five standout performers from the 24th round of the Eredivisie.
Dutch legend Patrick Kluivert’s son, from his sweet 16th, he was expected to be one of the most beautiful crops grown in the Amsterdam Arena. Well, he has started to fully blossom. The 18-year-old winger once again gave a rock-solid performance after scoring a goal against Twente last week. He hit the woodwork two times in the 90 minutes he played. He has started all the four games this season and has been phenomenal. He took seven shots during the game, out of which four were on target. He provides complete unpredictability on the pitch and delivers exceptional width on both the flanks. That’s how much versatile he is. Justin also managed to take on his opposition four times, one of which was nearly a goal but he was denied by the crossbar. His positional play was also superb, never really leaving the left flank vacant.
Often hailed as Ajax’s heartbeat, the 24-year-old was out and out unimaginable in the no.10 position. He won three tackles in the middle of the park and it initiated the counter-attack. Ziyech managed to create one big chance but wasn’t enough to put them on the scoresheet. He maintained an excellent 100% take-on rate. He is definitely one of the best playmakers in the league. The Moroccan possess immense stamina on the pitch coupled with the never-say-die attitude is the player every club would love to have. One of the most understated abilities of his, is to do delicious layoffs. A standout amongst the most downplayed capacity of his is to do flavorful cutbacks and back passes. He was the best Ajax player in their 1-0 win against Zoella.
Already putting the ball behind the net 11 times this season, Alkmaar’s no.7 has unquestionably attention to himself. He was playing like the captain of the ship and built his team’s attack around him. In the first 20 minutes, Jahanbakhsh was denied a goal on two occasions by the sheer excellence of Nigel Bertrams between the sticks. But in the 33rd minute, he finally broke the deadlock and scored a stunner from inside the box. Whenever he loses the ball, he hunts down the opposition like a fox and takes the ball back. He achieved 100% shot accuracy rate with four shots taken. Alongside club captain Wout Weghorst, Jahanbakhsh is the main target man in their team’s attack.
Abdenasser El Khayati
The 29-year-old veteran was everywhere on the pitch against Willem II. Just like N’golo Kante. He was involved in both of the goals scored- a goal and an assist. He completed 78% of his passes, which included 10 key passes. He is by all accounts the solitary maker in Den Haag's disposal. He lacked a little bit of defensive discipline, but other than that, he was humongous. His set-pieces are a treat for your eye to watch. When played as a double pivot, he thrives even more than playing in a trio.
Robin van Persie
Oh. My. God.
The nostalgia of van Persie’s return to Eredivisie football after 14 years is undoubtedly romantic. The Flying Dutchmen had one of his best games after leaving England. At the age of 34, he made taking on defenders look so easy completing six of them with 100% success rate. He was substituted after 73 minutes of the game, but in the time given he made a massive impact. The only fallout from his game was getting dispossessed very easily when pressed. While he is playing more first-team football when compared to Turkey, he can surely improve on that. Against Heracles Almelo, he played as a no.10, which perfectly suits his game- slow, intelligent and holding on to the ball. Manager van Bronckhorst should play him more centrally rather than asking him to push forward. He last lost his pace and now can serve as a perfect midfielder. His experience gathered during his time at Emirates and Old Trafford will surely help Feyenoord to achieve a European spot. I trust Luis van Gaal must have lamented his enormous ego.