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Ronald Koeman’s selection analyzed: Will Depay be able to replace Robben?

31 May 2018
Beating Portugal in their last friendly, the Dutch national team will play Slovakia and Italy coming Thursday and Monday respectively. Remiqz analyzed Koeman’s selection for ‘Oranje’ for both matches, by looking at the Euro Player Index (EPI)*. Based on their EPI rankings, 7 of the players that Koeman picked are not among the 25 best Dutch players. Of course, it is likely that other factors played a role in Koeman's decision than just their ranking. For instance, their performance in the past season will have played a significant role. For most positions, though, Koeman seems to have chosen the right players.

Beating Portugal in their last friendly, the Dutch national team will play Slovakia and Italy coming Thursday and Monday respectively. Remiqz analyzed Koeman’s selection for ‘Oranje’ for both matches, by looking at the Euro Player Index (EPI)*. Based on their EPI rankings, 7 of the players that Koeman picked are not among the 25 best Dutch players. Of course, it is likely that other factors played a role in Koeman’s decision than just their ranking. For instance, their performance in the past season will have played a significant role. For most positions, though, Koeman seems to have chosen the right players.

Based on the EPI, the veteran Arjen Robben is still better than the other Dutch attackers. Robben has an EPI of 4598 which is way above Depay’s EPI of 3829. However, Memphis Depay should be able to attain this level. To compare: Arjen Robben “only” had an EPI of 3570 at the age of 24.

The attackers outnumber the other positions in the list of 25 best Dutch players. Eight out of those 25 are attackers. In addition to Arjen Robben and Memphis Depay, among the best attackers are Ryan Babel, Bas Dost, Luuk de Jong, Eljero Elia, Justin Kluivert and Jermain Lens.

Of all midfielders, Champions League-finalist Georginio Wijnaldum has the highest EPI of all Dutch midfielders (4402). Kevin Strootman, Davy Pröpper, Marten de Roon, Marco van Ginkel, Davy Klaassen and Ruud Vormer complete the list with the best Dutch midfielders.

The best defenders based on EPI values are Virgil van Dijk, Daley Blind, Stefan de Vrij, Nathan Aké, Wesley Hoedt, Patrick van Aanholt and Erik Pieters. It is remarkable that there are 7 defenders among the 25 best Dutch players while in recent years there has been so much criticism that the Dutch defense would lack quality. Another positive fact is that the average age of these players is only 26 years implying a bright future for the Dutch back line.

Koeman selected Jasper Cillessen, Jeroen Zoet, and Sergio Padt as goalkeepers. According to the EPI, Marco Bizot, Kenneth Vermeer, and Tim Krul are better than Sergio Padt. However, Vermeer and Krul did not perform well during the last season. Therefore, Koeman’s choice to not select either of the two makes sense. Bizot, however, has an EPI of 2610 while Padt’s EPI is only 1891.

The following 7 players are not among the 25 best Dutch players but have received an invitation for the upcoming international matches: Sergio Padt, Hans Hateboer, Daryl Janmaat, Donny van de Beek, Tonny Vilhena, Steven Berghuis, and Wout Weghorst.