Opinion: The Dutch National Team lacks a world-class striker

Time to talk about the Dutch National Team today and their progress under Ronald Koeman over the past 16 months.

Dutch football is enjoying something of a renaissance this year, with Ajax reaching the Champions League semi-finals and the national team finishing as runners-up in the first edition of the UEFA Nations League.

It all started with the appointment of Ronald Koeman as head coach of the national team back in February 2018.

The legendary defender of Dutch football took over a side which failed to qualified for the last two major international tournaments and guided them to their first final since the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

First, the Netherlands topped their group with current and former World Champions – France and Germany and than eliminated England in the semi-finals, reaching the inaugural UEFA Nations League Final.

They were beaten 1-0 to host country Portugal in the final, in a game which showed what Holland lacks the most at the moment – a world class striker.

The Dutch national team is almost a complete side right now, thanks to the biggest clubs in the country, Ajax and PSV, who produced a wonderful generation of extraordinarily talented players.

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They have arguably the best defensive duo in international football, which consists of Premier League Player of the Season and 2019 Champions League winner – Virgil van Dijk, and 2018 Golden Boy and the youngest player ever to captain his side in a Champions League semi-final – Matthijs de Ligt.

Eredivisie Player of the Season and future Barcelona star – Frenkie de Jong is the Netherlands’ main playmaker. One of the most talented midfielders in Europe, De Jong is regarded as a master at dribbling through narrow spaces, thanks to his excellent first touch and amazing ball control.

Himself, alongside another Champions League winner, Georginio Wijnaldum and Donny van de Beek make quite a descent midfield trio for the Dutch national side.

However, if you take a look into Holland’s attack, you could easily notice that the Oranje lack a world class striker in their starting XI.

Memphis Depay has done an amazing job for Ronald Koeman’s side, noting seven goals and six assists in his last 10 appearances for the national team. But Depay is more of a wide forward, as well as Steven Bergwijn and Quincy Promes are.

What the Netherlands really lack is a central striker, so-called ‘classic No. 9’ who is unstoppable in the opponent’s penalty box. A player like Robin van Persie, Ruud van Nistelrooy, or even Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who is still active but will turn 36 in August.

If they manage to produce this kind of player in the following year, we strongly believe that the Dutch national team will be one of the biggest favorites to win the 2020 UEFA Euro next summer.


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