Why going Dutch again is a gamble for Manchester United

Eriksen, who joined Tottenham from Ajax in 2013 and spent seven years in North London before a move to Inter Milan, has of course now completed a free transfer to United and is another signing with a heavy Dutch influence. 

His recovery from the cardiac arrest he suffered playing for Denmark at the European Championships last summer has been remarkable and his form in the final few months of last season from Brentford offered a reminder of his vision, creativity and intelligence on the ball, qualities Ten Hag is desperate to add.

There are numerous other players with promise who moved from the Eredivisie to England who have been decent, such as Dusan Tadic, Nacer Chadli, Davinson Sanchez, Hakim Ziyech, Maya Yoshida, Steven Bergwijn, Erik Pieters, Leroy Fer, Daryl Janmaat and Davy Propper, even if not all lasted the course and none are household names.

But it is arguably easier to list the many players who could not handle the difficult, direct transition, including Davy Klaasen, Siem de Jong, Jordy Clasie, Ron Vlaar and Marko van Ginkel among many others. 

The reality is that the Netherlands has simply not provided the same fertile hunting ground for Premier League clubs in recent years as fellow European countries like Portugal and France, two faster, more physical leagues with a deeper pool of players given the success and greater ease with which they have more generally drawn talents from South America and Africa respectively. 

Maybe Ten Hag will buck the trend and the Dutch influence at Old Trafford will underpin a transformation, but it will need to be a lot more successful than it was under Van Gaal.

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