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Roozekrans: Clever Ødegaard; Kindergarten over for Depay; What can Narsingh bring? Is Traore Chelsea class?

Martin Ødegaard got a very warm welcome at his new club SC Heerenveen.

The Dutch side produced an impressive stunt by signing the Real Madrid wonder-kid on a 1.5 year loan-deal earlier this month.

Ødegaard made an explicit choice for the Eredivisie to boost his career. A choice he might regret not making 2 years earlier when he signed for Real Madrid from Stromsgodset.

At the Champions League winner, the competition for a talented youngster like Ødegaard just seems too hard.

The decision to join Heerenveen did not fall from the sky. The respective club is a warm nest for blossoming talents to develop their game.

Heerenveen plays attractive football in the classical Dutch 4-3-3 system. With less pressure than at Ajax or PSV Eindhoven to achieve, the talents can freewheel more and experience a lot of first team football.

Dutch stars like Ruud van Nistelrooy, Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Daryl Janmaat and new Swansea City signing Luciano Narsingh played for Heerenveen at the beginning of their careers.

Besides that Heerenveen has an outstanding name in Scandinavia, convincing Ødegaard to choose them.

The expectations are high as he's still one of the most promising talents in Europe. But away from the spotlight in Madrid, Ødegaard can improve his game on the secure Dutch countryside that Heerenveen is.

He'll have to learn the national anthem of the province of Friesland, as at every home game Heerenveen starts by singing their provincial anthem.

He has made a mature decision to take a step back in order to take two forward in the future.


The same applies for Memphis Depay.

The Dutch enfant terrible lost track of his career in Manchester. His adventure at Old Trafford turned out to be a big flop.

In 2015, Louis van Gaal signed the highly talented Dutch youngster from PSV. He had proven his talent in the Eredivisie and at the World Cup in 2014 where van Gaal guided the Dutch squad to an impressive 3rd-place finish in Brazil.

In England, the heightened fame took possession of Memphis. Money in the bank, and Depay on the bench.

Olympique Lyon rescued Depay from his Manchester debacle. If Depay succeeds in refuelling his career at Lyon, itwill depend on his own mentality.

The 22-year-old still can have a promising career, but his focus needs to be on the game itself instead of his social life.

Kindergarten is over, Depay has to show Holland and England he's more than simply a talent.

Like Ødegaard, One step back in order to take two steps forward. Otherwise the cashed up surrounds of China will probably be his next destination.


Luciano Narsingh is next in line to prove himself in the Premier League.

The fast winger plays with his head up and plenty of pace. He has a good cross and the ability to score a goal. But is Swansea the right decision?

That has to be seen.

Swansea definitely can benefit from his runs playing on the fast break, but the strong defenders in the Premier League will be a huge problem for Narsingh.

He needs space behind a defence to accelerate. In time, Narsingh showed his quality in the Eredivisie, but he failed to really impress at PSV.

Simply not consistent enough. For that reason the Dutch champions did a great job selling the Holland international for £4million with only a half year left on his contract.


What about Bertrand Traoré then?

The Chelsea youngster is on his second loan period in the Eredivisie. He impressed in the 2014/15 season at Vitesse Arnhem as a striker.

This season he came to Ajax to fill the role as the number 9, but he lost that position to star-in-the-making Kasper Dolberg and has had to settle for a spot on the right wing.

The 21-year-old struggled to really get his game going as a winger, focusing too much on himself as an individual. But with his constant threat and class in the team, Ajax did play some impressive attacking football.

The kind of football that hasn't been seen for years in the Amsterdam Arena. Not surprisingly that when Traoré picked up an injury at the beginning of December, Ajax lost a some of their attacking flow as well.

The Burkina Faso international left Amsterdam to play for his country at the Africa Cup, where he led his country to the quarter-finals with a goal against Guinea-Bissau in the group stage.

Traoré is a threat to every defence, but he needs to play more in duty of the team.

Will Traoré ever succeed at Chelsea?

If he's able to use the year at Ajax wisely and prove his value on the wing, he might become a useful link in Antonio Conte's 2017/18 team at Stamford Bridge.

Hans Roozekrans
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Hans Roozekrans

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