As the end of the season beckons across Europe, in some form, it is time for us at Outside of the Boot to recognize the accomplishments of tomorrow’s stars with the U-22 Team of the Season across each individual top leagues, a feature we’ve run since 2014 . This feature looks at the best of the Eredivisie.
[Eligibility: As of 1st June 2019 – 21 years old and below for outfield players; 22 years old and below for goalkeepers]
It was a great shame that the Eredivisie was called off, in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic; it became one of the first major leagues of Europe to take the step and sent fears through the football world that the rest would follow suit.
Before the season was called off, defending champions Ajax were involved in an enthralling battle with AZ Alkmaar, the two sides tied for points with nine to go. AZ impressed in what would have ben their first title in eleven years and only their third in it’s fifty-three year history. Four of their players are represented in this XI, Teun Koopmeiners (22) arguably being the stand out performer. Myron Boadu (19) was the other standout from the side whose fourteen goals propelled AZ into the title race. Owen Wijndal (20) and Calvin Stengs (21) feature as the support cast from Arne Slot’s team.
Last season’s Champions League semi-finalists Ajax, who’s defensive record in the league was only second to the aforementioned AZ, have two representatives in Lisandro Martinez (22) and Sergino Dest (19). Heerenveen who largely had a sub-par season also have dual representatives: former Ajax youth product Sven Botman (20) takes a spot in central defence and Chidera Ejuke (22), who was involved in just over a goal every two games across twenty-five matches, is on the wings.
Maarten Paes (22) is in goal in our XI. The Dutchman impressed for Utrecht before a shoulder injury kept him out and saw Jeroen Zoet come in on loan from PSV before the last few games prior to the lockdown. PSV’s only representative from what was a disappointing season is Mohamed Ihattaren (18); the Dutch giants were an unimpressive fourth when the league was suspended but at least will remember the season for the breakthrough of their teenage sensation. The side is completed by Vangelis Pavlidis (21) from the other feel-good story from the Eredivise: Willem II. The Tilburg based club was set for it’s best finish in the Eredivisie in the 21st century, helped by the Greek’s eleven goals.
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