Football Features

How PSV could have lined up if they didn’t sell their best players

By Squawka News

Published: 13:38, 6 May 2019 | Updated: 17:25, 29 September 2019

PSV Eindhoven fans have had the pleasure of watching some of the greats of the game play for their beloved club down the years.

The likes of Ruud Gullit, Jaap Stam, Ronald Koeman and Ronaldo, to name a few, all pulled on the famous red and white stripes during their careers.

Much like their illustrious rivals Ajax, the Rood-Witten (red & whites) have historically helped nurture and develop some of the best talents to grace world football. And it’s a tradition that has not stopped in recent times with the conveyor belt of talent coming out of the club from the Dutch club showing no signs of slowing down.

Take a glance around and you will see plenty of former PSV stars lighting up European football. This is because there always comes a point where they have to wave goodbye to their most talented stars as they are whisked off to bigger and better things, leaving PSV fans often wondering just how good things could have been.

Here’s how PSV could have lined up this season if they hadn’t have sold their key talent…

Goalkeeper: Heurelho Gomes

League games for PSV: 128

Titles won: Eredivisie (4), 2005 KNVB Cup

Current club: Watford

PSV was Gomes’ first European club following a move from his native Brazil in 2004. It may seem hard to think now, but a decade ago the gaffe-prone keeper was taught as one of the most talented stoppers in Europe. With Gomes between the sticks, PSV managed to reach a Champions League semi-final as well as winning four Eredivisie titles.

The Brazilian’s form for PSV saw him earn a move to Tottenham where he was could be equally brilliant and ridiculous, often in the same match. He is now back in the Premier League with Watford, but will call time on his career at the end of the 2018/19 season.

Right Back: Santiago Arias

League games for PSV: 136

Titles won: Eredivisie (3), Johan Cruijff-schaal (2)

Current club: Atletico Madrid

Arias is an attacking full-back with plenty of pace and was a great servant to PSV for five years, turning out 172 times for the club in all competitions.

Now 27, the Colombian got his big move in the summer, joining Spanish giants Atletico Madrid in a reported £11m move, making 33 appearances for the club so far.

Centre-Back: Jeffrey Bruma

League games for PSV: 94

Titles won: Eredivisie (2), 2015 Johan Cruijff-schaal

Current club: Schalke (on loan from Wolfsburg)

Bruma actually graduated from Chelsea’s academy but was unable to nail down a spot in the first-team at Stamford Bridge. However, after some loan spells, Bruma found a home at PSV, nailing down a starting place and becoming the defensive backbone of their two title-winning sides. He moved to the Bundesliga to play for Wolfsburg in 2016 and is currently on loan at Schalke 04.

Centre-Back: Hector Moreno

League games for PSV: 61

Titles won: 2016 Eredivisie, 2016 Johan Cruijff-schaal

Current club: Real Sociedad

The Mexican signed for PSV from La Liga outfit Espanyol before the start of last season. Moreno previously played for AZ Alkmaar, so knew the Dutch league and having impressed for Espanyol was ready to shine for PSV. The defender was linked with a £7m move to Arsenal, as per Metro, but elected to choose regular games for PSV. He went on to become an important player at the back during his 78 appearances for the club before moving to Roma in 2017. Moreno never quite cut it in Serie A and has since returned to Spain with Real Sociedad.

Left-Back: Jetro Willems

League games for PSV: 144

Titles won: Eredivisie (2), 2012 KNVB Cup, Johan Cruijff-schaal (2)

Current club: Eintracht Frankfurt

Willems emerged as one of the most talented young left-backs in Europe in 2014/15, creating the most chances (74) of any player in Cocu’s squad.

His pace and energy make him a nightmare to track for opposing wingers and he easily slots into this illustrious team. He rebounded from a rough 2015/16 to get his career back on track and the talented full-back racked up 144 league appearances for PSV before leaving them to join Eintracht Frankfurt in 2017.

Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel:

Central Midfield: Kevin Strootman

League games for PSV: 62

Titles won: 2012 KNVB Cup, 2012 Johan Cruijff-schaal

Current club: Marseille

Strootman played for PSV between 2011-13 but was unable to win an Eredivisie title with them. Despite his fitness woes, he makes the grade here after making 187 appearances for Roma, helping them to last season’s Champions League semi-final before moving to Marseille in the summer. At the height of form, Strootman is a joy to watch and has 43 caps for the Netherlands to date.

Central Midfield: Georginio Wijnaldum

League games for PSV: 109

Titles won: 2015 Eredivisie, 2012 KNVB Cup

Current club: Liverpool

Wijnaldum earned his second consecutive big money summer move. Two years ago he made his big Premier League move after leading PSV to the title in 2014/15. He was quality for Newcastle and that’s why Liverpool forked out £25 million to acquire him.

Since joining the Reds he has been an essential part of Klopp’s system. Providing energy and thrust from the middle of the park, he adds a dynamism the Reds sorely lack without him.

Right Wing: Arjen Robben

League games for PSV: 56

Titles won: 2003 Eredivisie, 2003 Johan Cruijff-schaal

Current club: Bayern Munich

The Bayern Munich star needs no introduction and is still one of the most feared wingers in the game despite hitting the grand age of 35. Robben spent two years at PSV where he cemented his reputation as a terrific dribbler before Chelsea swooped in. The devastating Dutchman has since turned out for Real Madrid and is one of PSV’s most successful old boys in the modern era.

Left Wing: Dries Mertens

League games for PSV: 62

Titles won: 2012 KNVB Cup, 2012 Johan Cruijff-schaal

Current club: Napoli

Belgian flyer Mertens can currently be found playing tearing everyone to shreds in Serie A with Napoli. Since an injury crisis forced him into a false nine role, the diminutive Belgian has gone supernova.

However, it was at PSV where he really came to our attention. Like Robben he spent two years there, arriving at the same time as Strootman in what turned out to be a tasty bit of business. With Robben on the other wing, the electric duo should keep opposing full-back on their toes.

No.10: Memphis Depay

League games for PSV: 90

Titles won: 2012 KNVB Cup, 2012 Johan Cruijff-schaal, 2015 Eredivisie

Current club: Lyon

The explosive Dutchman can play as a winger or in the supporting role we’ve popped him into here. His spectacular 22 goal haul saw him make the move to Old Trafford, but despite his excellent double against Club Brugge early in his career there he never really made the grade for United. Louis van Gaal and José Mourinho stifled him, but he also failed to raise his game. Is now playing for Lyon, trying to salvage his career. In this side, his ability to interchange with Robben and Mertens would be frightening to watch. Think of the wheels!

Striker: Luuk de Jong

League games for PSV: 157

Titles won: Eredivisie (3), Johan Cruijff-schaal (2)

Current club: PSV

And finally, to the strikers, where Luuk de Jong takes his rightful place leading the line. It took the 28-year-old a while to settle down but he finally found a long-term home at PSV.

Many English fans will remember him for his goalless spell with Newcastle United but it has been different at PSV. He managed 20 league goals as they won the Title in 2014/15, and 26 when they retained that Championship. His current goalscoring tally for PSV stands at 112 in 202 appearances across all competitions.

Honourable Mentions…

There are a number of names who didn’t quite make the cut on this occasion, however, their talents mean they get a little mention here. They’d make some bench!

Jeremain Lens (Beşiktaş), Balazs Dzsudzsak (Al-Ittihad Kalba SC) and Ibrahim Afellay (unattached) could all have an impact in attacking areas. Meanwhile, Erik Pieters (Stoke City), Stijn Schaars (SC Heerenveen) and Andres Guardado (Real Betis) also deserve a shout.