The Netherlands have not only given us ‘total football,’ but they have also produced some of the finest individuals the game has ever seen.
While they may have fallen on more challenging times in recent years, the Dutch have provided us with some true greats of the game, with the likes of Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit all playing for the Oranje.
In the latest of our ‘Five of the Best’ series, we look at the best Dutchmen to ever player in the English Premier League.
While you don’t automatically think of Arjen Robben as a Premier League player, he is actually one of the most succesful Dutchmen to play in the Premier League.
Moving to Chelsea from PSV Eindhoven in 2004, Robben made 104 appearances for the Blues and scoring 19 goals. During his time at Stamford Bridge, he won two Premier League titles, two league cups and one FA Cup before earning himself a move to Real Madrid.
While he admitted he was close to joining Man Utd, he has of course moved on to Bayern Munich where he has produced some of his best football.
While he is the only man on this list not to actually win the Premier League title, Dirk Kuyt was a consistent performer while playing in England.
He moved to the Premier League in 2006 and spent six seasons at Anfield before moving on to Fenerbahce in 2012
Having started out as a striker, he played the majority of his games on the wing, with the forward making 208 Premier League appearances for Liverpool, scoring 51 goals in process.
Ruud van Nistelrooy
Another player to move to the Premier League from PSV, Ruud van Nistelrooy was one of the most prolific strikers we’ve ever seen.
Moving to United in 2001, the Dutchman only spent five years at Manchester United before moving on to European giants Real Madrid.
However, during his time at Old Trafford, he scored an incredible 95 goals in 150 Premier League games. In all competitions for the Red Devils he netted 150 times and won the Premier League title once, along with one FA Cup and one League Cup success.
Not only was he a hit in the Premier League, but he is also one of the top goalscorers in the Champions League.
Robin van Persie
The only player on our list to have played for two Premier League clubs, spending eight years at Arsenal before spending a further three at Manchester United.
As a Gunner, van Persie started life as a winger, but was converted into a striker, and ultimately scored 96 Premier League goals in 194 games. However, having failed to land himself a Premier League winners medal at the Emirates, RVP ‘listened to the little boy inside him’ and made the move to Old Trafford.
The Dutchman netted 26 goals and led Manchester United in his first season in Manchester, and helped Sir Alex Ferguson wrestle back from Manchester City.
Van Persie spent two more years at Old Trafford before finally being moved on to Fenerbahce by Louis van Gaal.
Not just one of the greatest Dutchmen to have played in the Premier League, but one of the best players to have played here full stop!
The most succesful man on our list, winning three titles with the Gunners in 1997/98, 2001/2 and 2003/4.
He spent 11 years in England, and whilst he was a forward, he was far from prolific in front of goal, scoring 87 goals in his 315 Premier League appearances.
However, as a player he was incredible, magical, and wonderful to watch, with Thierry Henry describing him as a ‘dream for a striker’.
He will go down as one of the Premier League’s all time greats.
Read – Dennis Bergkamp and one of the most famous hat-tricks in Premier League history
See also – Robin van Persie – 10 best quotes about the former Arsenal and Man United hitman