The boys from The Netherlands have often found the Premier League to be a happy hunting ground, whenever they’ve chose to make the short fifty minute flight from their homeland, to earn their money in England.
Some transfers have blown up spectacularly in the faces of Premier League sides with clubs often keen to shell out vast sums for Eredivisie talent, some though have become legends down through the years. Here’s a look at the five highest scoring Dutch players to have graced the division.
Dirk Kuyt – 51 goals
Dirk Kuyt will certainly never have to pay for a pint in Liverpool! The popular winger was taken in by The Anfield faithful as one of their own during his memorable stint on Merseyside. Signed from Feyenoord by Rafa Benitez in 2006, Kuyt was hugely important for Liverpool’s often lethal counter attack during the Spaniard’s reign at the club.
Never prolific, but possessing a clever and disciplined style of play, Kuyt though had a habit of scoring in very big games. The likes of Arsenal, Everton, Manchester United and Chelsea all felt the wrath of The Dirk during his six years at Liverpool. If he had a yard of pace, he would have been a top, top player, as it happened; he turned out to be more a cult hero than a Premier League great.
Dennis Berkamp – 87 goals
A player at the vanguard of Wenger’s French Revolution at Highbury, Dennis Berkamp is one of the all-time great Arsenal players. Immortalised with a statue at The Emirates, the Dutch forward was one of the most important players at the club, during their greatest era in the modern game. Blessed with a silky first touch, a wonderful football brain and the ability to score some outrageous goals, Berkamp had so much to his game.
He made the difficult look easy, and was a joy to watch, even for the neutrals. His goal against Newcastle away in 2002 was a thing of beauty. Receiving a diagonal ball on the edge of the box, with his back to Nikos Dabizas, he suddenly somehow flicked the ball up to about knee height with his left foot, and bobbed it past the bemused Greek defender, before turning him to be clean through on goal, a second later he was poking the ball into the back of the net, scoring one of Arsenal’ most iconic goals. He’s number four on this list of goal scorers, but there have been no better, more technically gifted Dutch players than him to grace the Premier League.
Ruud van Nistelrooy– 95 goals
In the days before everyone’s stats where left behind by Messi and Ronaldo, Ruud Van Nistlerooy was arguably, the most prolific striker of his day. One of the most natural finishers to ever play for Manchester United, the former PSV forward just had the knack of being in the right place, every time.
It was by no means lucky either, the poacher knew where the ball was likely to drop in the area, and worked hard to be on the end of a United move, often at critical moments in games. He was a also a dab hand from the spot as well. He’s probably the most naturally gifted, traditional striker, to miss out on the 100 Club, not that United fans will care too much about that one accolade to evade him, as few others did.
Jimmy Floyd-Haseselbaink 127
Before there was Drogba and Russian Billions, there was Jimmy Floyd! Chelsea legend and iconic goals scorer, Hasselbaink transcended an era in The Premier League, just as the real money came in and sealed off the big boys, a powerful, prolific and determined centre-forward could be your ticket to a trophy or a flirt with the title.
The Dutchman played for an excellent Leeds United team, before coming back to the Premier League following a brief stint in La Liga. Chelsea reaped the benefits of his wonderful strength, thunderous shot and deceptive speed as they became regulars in Europe and the top four. Hasselbaink could have played for anyone on his day and his record of 127 goals is a testament to his immense talent.
Robin Van Persie – 144 goals
Who else but Van Persie to top this list of Dutch legends? Robin Van Persie was an supremely talented maverick who revelled in scoring beautiful goals throughout his long and successful Premier League career. His speed of movement, excellent touch and top class finishing made him a massively popular player at Arsenal and Manchester United.
He was twice the top scorer in the top flight and would regularly chip with vital, eye catching goals, especially his worldies from outside the area. 2012-13 will go down as his most iconic season, almost single-handedly winning United their 20th League Championship with twenty-six goals that campaign. His body of work in the division is obvious with 144 goals in 280 game a sign of his potency and ability in front of goal. A world class talent worthy topping many a list.