Newcastle daily The Journal is reporting that Alan Pardew appears to be looking to Holland for emerging talent. A group of team scouts are said to have attended the Dutch U-21 team take on Ireland on Wednesday.
Scouts are also expected to attend some Eredivisie matches that involve clubs Vitesse Arnhem, PSV Eindhoven, Zwolle and AZ Alkmaar this weekend. The club who has developed a reputation for favouring players from the French league could be switching their focus to the Eredivisie going forward.
Here are five potential transfer targets for Newcastle United from Holland.
Siem de Jong, AFC Ajax, Midfielder/Forward
The Magpies were heavily linked to the 24-year-old attacking midfielder during last month’s transfer window. He is considered a traditional playmaker who could also play up front and score goals. Jong could be a replacement for Hatem Ben Arfa if he does infact plan to leave St.James’ Park this summer.
Although he is not as skillful as Hatem, he scores more goals and is perhaps physically better suited for the Premier League. So far this season, he has eight goals in the Dutch League, and another three in the Champions League. The Ajax captain would cost Newcastle around £9 million, but other clubs are sure to be interested this summer.
Jody Lukoki, AFC Ajax, Right Wing
Another Ajax player linked to Newcastle in January, the Zaire-born winger has played himself into regular team action this season. Though small and lean, Lukoki is technically gifted and has an eye for goal.
So far this campaign, he has scored three goals and notched 2 assists for Ajax. At 20 years of age, Lukoki is still several years away from regular Premier League action, but he is certainly someone to watch going forward.
Wilfried Bony, Vitesse Arnhem, Striker
The 24-year-old Ivorian was linked with a move to several Premier League teams including Newcastle this January. The Magpies reportedly offered his Dutch club £12 million for the Eredivisie leading scorer but the deal was never finalized.
Bony is physically strong and could be the ideal replacement for Demba Ba that Alan Pardew has been looking for. He is widely expected to leave Holland this summer, but Newcastle should receive competition from West Ham, Chelsea and Liverpool for his services.
Virgil van Dijk, FC Groningen, Central Defender
The 21-year-old Dutchmen was seen as a possible replacement for Fabricio Coloccini this January. At 1.93m, his size makes him very attractive to Premier League clubs. Everton, Sunderland are also said to be interested.
Dijk has started all 21 matches so far this year in the Dutch league, scoring two goals. He played in another 21 matches last year in his breakthrough campaign giving him great experience at such a young age. He is valued at around £2 million.
Adam Maher, AZ Alkmaar, Midfielder
Highly rated attacking midfielder who has been linked to a move to England. He has made headlines in recent days by nixing a move to Arsenal and saying he would like to remain in Holland for a few more years. Some believe that he is likely to join PSV Eindhoven in June. Tottenham are also said to be interested.
Born in Morocco, Maher has already been capped three times by the Oranje. He has been in excellent form this campaign, notching 7 goals and 7 assists in 26 matches in all competitions for his Dutch club. It is believed that Maher could cost as high as £8 million.