Four in 10 Dutch Eredivisie players come from abroad: Telegraaf

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Foreign nationals made up 41% of the player base in the 18 Eredivisie teams in the Netherlands last season, the Telegraaf reported on Friday.

This is the highest figure in 20 years, the paper said, and highlights the wide variation between the Dutch professional clubs.

In total, 470 players were signed up for the 18 top teams, and 195 were drafted in from abroad.

Top of the list is Fortuna Sittard, where 78% of the players were from abroad, followed by Willem II with 54% and PSV Eindhoven, Heracles Almelo, FC Twente and VVV Venlo, all on 52%.

Some 41% of the Amsterdam Ajax squad last season came from abroad, but only 30% of Rotterdam club Feyenoord’s core team of 30 were foreign.

Evgeniy Levchenko, head of the Dutch professional players association VVCS, told the paper there is little his organisation can do. ‘In Europe, the free movement of people means players can move everywhere,’ he said. ‘You could raise the salary ceiling for non-EU players, but that would cut you out of certain markets.’

‘In general, I think Eredivisie clubs should give more opportunities to their own youth players and a foreign player should have clear added value,’ he said. ‘And to be honest, sometimes I have my doubts about that.’

The current transfer season runs until October 6.

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