Weghorst next? Ranking Man Utd’s 13 Dutch players in the PL era

2006 of former Manchester United forward Ruud Van Nistelrooy, who has signed a three-year deal to become PSV's manager from this summer Credit: Alamy
2006 of former Manchester United forward Ruud Van Nistelrooy, who has signed a three-year deal to become PSV's manager from this summer Credit: Alamy

Manchester United have had some serious talents from the Netherlands over the years, but it’s fair to say that some of them did better than others.

Recent reports have claimed that Wout Weghorst could be the next Dutch player to come to Old Trafford. Erik ten Hag is keen on bolstering his forward line and the Burnley striker is high up on their radar.

We’ve gone through the archives and ranked Manchester United’s 13 Dutch players from the Premier League era from worst to best.

13. Tahith Chong

Chong was given his competitive debut by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and while he showcased glimpses of talent, he never quite made it at Old Trafford. He’s now playing for Birmingham City in the Championship.

12. Timothy Fosu-Mensah

The defender made a total of 30 appearances for Man United throughout his seven-year stint with the club. The 25-year-old won the FA Cup and Europa League during his time with United.

He featured four times in the Europa League during the 2016-17 season but was an unused substitute for the final against Ajax. These days he is playing for Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga.

11. Alexander Buttner

This one was a bit of a strange signing at the time, but Buttner had his moments for United to be fair. He scored a superb solo goal against Wigan and was also on target during Sir Alex Ferguson’s last-ever game in a 5-5 thriller against West Brom.

He even managed to get the better of Arjen Robben during United’s 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich in the Champions League in 2014. He did have a mistake in him though and swiftly left the club after just two years.

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10. Donny van de Beek

The signing of Van de Beek just hasn’t worked out. While at Ajax he was regarded as one of the brightest midfield prospects in Europe and now he resembles a shadow of his former self.

Injuries and the mismanagement of Van de Beek have ultimately stifled his career progression. Even a loan spell at Everton last season couldn’t get him back on track.

9. Memphis Depay

Depay has gone on to showcase his talent since leaving Manchester United at both Lyon and Barcelona, but he never came close to fulfilling his potential in a United shirt.

Perhaps the move came too soon in his career or it was never the right fit in the first place. The forward scored seven goals for United in 53 appearances. At least he and Louis van Gaal see eye to eye these days.

8. Tyrell Malacia

The full-back was signed in the summer and has settled into life well at Old Trafford so far. Still only 23 years old, he has the chance to jump up a few places on this ranking if he continues to progress at his current rate.

7. Jordi Cruyff

Son of the legendary Johan Cruyff, Jordi had an interesting four-year stint with Man United. He was at the club during a great time of success, but injuries ultimately hampered him from reaching his full potential in a United shirt.

He played eleven games and scored twice during the treble-winning 98–99 season, but he spent the second half of the season on loan with Celta Vigo and so he was elsewhere when they lifted the trophies. In total, he played 58 games and scored eight goals for United.

6. Raimond van der Gouw

Van der Gouw only played an average of 10 games per season during his six-year stay at Man United, but he was often a safe pair of hands whenever he was called upon.

The 1999–00 season was actually the first time that he made enough appearances to claim a Premier League medal, having featured in 14 league games that year. His professional career spanned over 20 years and he will always be welcomed back to Old Trafford with a smile.

5. Daley Blind

Blind was an ever-present player under Van Gaal although he found his opportunities somewhat limited once Jose Mourinho took over the reins in 2016. The versatile Dutch defender was a solid player for United and he clearly enjoyed his time at Old Trafford.

Upon his exit, Blind wrote on Twitter: “I want to say how proud I am to be a part of the Manchester United family. To play for the biggest club in the world with such a history meant a lot to me. I had 4 great years with 4 trophy’s!”

4. Jaap Stam

There was no getting past Stam in his prime. A crucial player during the treble-winning 1998-99 side, the Dutch defender was one of the best in the world during his peak. We could watch a compilation of his crunching tackles all day long.

3. Robin van Persie

Van Persie’s first season at Manchester United has to go down as one of the greatest individual campaigns of all time, especially considering the context around the move at the time. The former Arsenal striker dragged United to the title in 2012-13 with 26 league goals.

Some Arsenal fans are probably still hurting over this one, but Van Persie himself doesn’t have any regrets after leaving the Gunners.

“I get that the fans were angry with me,” he told BBC Sport. “I was the captain, top scorer and we came third that year. But just sometimes you feel you need a challenge, a new adventure.

“I got half the [goalscoring] chances at Manchester United than the year before at Arsenal, and I scored almost the same amount of goals. So then you just know that it goes your way.”

2. Edwin van der Sar

At 42.17%, the Dutch goalkeeper has the best games to clean sheets ratio of any Manchester United goalkeeper to make over 50 Premier League appearances, and third overall behind Petr Cech and Pepe Reina. He was one of a kind.

Club legend Edwin Van der Sar trains with Ajax during their Orlando training camp, Omni Orlando Resort, 7 January 2019 Credit: Alamy
Club legend Edwin Van der Sar trains with Ajax during their Orlando training camp, Omni Orlando Resort, 7 January 2019 Credit: Alamy

READ: Ranking Man Utd’s 23 Premier League keepers from worst to best

1. Ruud van Nistelrooy

Arguably the most natural finisher to ever grace the Premier League, Van Nistelrooy deservedly has his place at the top of the ranking. The Dutchman scored 150 goals for United in just 219 appearances.

Gary Neville recalled his first ever time seeing the striker in training and told Sky Sports: “The first time I watched him in training, he did a shooting session and hit one and I went, ‘woah, you can’t kick a ball like that’.

“Sometimes you see things in training and just think to yourself, ‘that’s a proper player’. That was Ruud. He was the one who I didn’t know beforehand that I looked at straightaway in training and thought he was unbelievable.”

READ NEXT: Comparing Wout Weghorst’s 2022-23 stats to Man Utd’s current strikers

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every Manchester United club captain of the PL era?

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