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Ranked! Liverpool’s best signings from the Eredivisie

Liverpool are pushing to agree terms with Feyenoord for head coach Arne Slot, having identified the Dutchman as their top target to replace Jurgen Klopp.

Slot has built a fine reputation in the Eredivisie after leading Feyenoord to the title in 2022/23 and Dutch Cup success this season, with the Reds hopeful he will be the right successor to Klopp at Anfield.

New managers often return to what they know in terms of recruitment, and Liverpool are already being linked with Feyenoord talents including Santiago Gimenez and David Hancko.

The Eredivisie can be a minefield when it comes to Premier League transfers, however, and there have been some notable hits and misses signed from Dutch football in the past.

We’ve ranked Liverpool’s five best Premier League signings from the Eredivisie:

5. Sander Westerveld, Vitesse Arnhem (1999)

Liverpool made Sander Westerveld the most expensive goalkeeper in British football history after agreeing a £4m deal to sign the shot-stopper from Vitesse Arnhem in 1999.

After a disappointing seventh-place finish the previous season, Westerveld helped shore up the Liverpool backline as the Reds ended his debut campaign with the division’s best defensive record to secure UEFA Cup qualification.

He was a prominent figure as Gerard Houllier’s side won a League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup treble during the 2000/01 season and saved the decisive kick from Andy Johnson as the Merseysiders beat Birmingham in the former final.

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After a dip in form, he departed in August 2001, with Jerzy Dudek and Chris Kirkland signed as replacements.

 

4. Cody Gakpo, PSV Eindhoven (2023)

The most recent Eredivisie acquisition on this list, Cody Gakpo arrived at Liverpool in the 2023 January transfer window, having impressed for the Netherlands at the World Cup a month earlier.

Gakpo had won the Dutch Footballer of the Year award in 2021/22 and was the Eredivisie’s leading goalscorer and assist provider at the time of his mid-season arrival at Anfield, for an initial fee of £37m.

The Dutch international has added to a deep forward line at Liverpool and has scored 14 goals in 25 starts in all competitions in 2023/24. His finest moment for the Reds to date came with a double in the club’s 7-0 thrashing of Manchester United last season.

3. Dirk Kuyt, Feyenoord (2006)

Liverpool spent £9m to sign Dirk Kuyt from Feyenoord in 2006, with the forward boasting a prolific record in Rotterdam with 71 goals from 101 league games.

Kuyt failed to replicate that goal return in English football but emerged as a cult hero, transforming from a centre-forward into a workhorse winger under Rafael Benitez.

The Dutchman’s habit of scoring crucial goals made him well-appreciated at Anfield, including a fine record in Merseyside Derbies against Everton and a close-range hat-trick in a win over Manchester United.

Kuyt won just one trophy in six seasons, scoring in the League Cup final success in 2012, with runners-up finishes in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup. He made 285 appearances in all competitions, scoring 71 times, before departing for Fenerbahce.

During his time at Liverpool, he reached the 2010 World Cup final with the Netherlands and is the seventh-highest capped player in the nation’s history, with 104 appearances.

2. Sami Hyypia, Willem II (1999)

Sami Hyypia arrived at Liverpool as an unknown from Willem II in 1999 but soon made his colossal presence felt in the Premier League. The Finnish man mountain helped solidify a previously shaky Liverpool defence and formed a fine understanding with fellow recruit Stephane Henchoz as the Reds won a cup treble under Gerard Houllier in 2000/01.

Hyypia captained the club for much of that campaign, helping Liverpool secure Champions League qualification for the first time in the Premier League era. Despite handing the armband to Steven Gerrard in 2003, Hyypia remained a crucial figure for Liverpool for a further six seasons.

He added second League Cup and FA Cup winner’s medals, and was integral to the club’s Champions League success under Rafael Benitez in 2005, scoring in the quarter-final win over Juventus.

Hyypia made 464 appearances for Liverpool and, at just £2.6m, ranks as one of the club’s best bits of business of the Premier League era.

Defensive Rocks: Sami Hyypia – A Finnish man mountain

 

1. Luis Suarez, Ajax (2011)

Luis Suarez is perhaps the best example of excellence imported from the Eredivisie. Signed from Ajax during the 2011 January transfer window, the Uruguayan marked his Liverpool debut with a goal and from there got better and better.

By the time of his departure from the Premier League for Barcelona in 2014, Suarez was considered the best footballer in English football. His final campaign saw him score 31 goals and provide 12 assists in just 33 league appearances, as Brendan Rodgers’ side narrowly missed out on the Premier League title.

The forward was recognised with the PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year awards, alongside the Premier League Golden Boot and European Golden Shoe.

At his best, he was near unstoppable (as Norwich will testify) and helped Liverpool forget fan favourite Fernando Torres, who left for Chelsea in the same window he signed.

Read – Liverpool pushing to wrap up Slot agreement today

See more – Iconic Performances: Luis Suarez humiliates Norwich with four-goal haul

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