Antony v Gakpo v Madueke – the Eredivisie tax, examined
Three Eredivisie forwards moved to top Premier League clubs last season - one is best placed for success.
Antony dos Santos, Cody Gakpo, Noni Madueke - three big-money moves across the North Sea, three differing fortunes.
In this week’s guest column, Kees van Hemmen explores the unique struggles of each, and whether they’re capable of escaping the lingering shadow of the ‘Eredivisie tax’.
It has been more than a decade since the last time a high-profile forward in the Dutch Eredivisie became a Premier League star. The last clear-cut example was perhaps Luis Suárez, who moved from Ajax to Liverpool in January of 2011 for a then-massive fee of £28.5 million in today’s money. The North Sea has always been a treacherous crossing, but rarely has it been so tempestuous for young Dutch goal scorers as it has in the last decade.
In the time since Suárez swapped Mokum for Merseyside, players like Vincent Janssen, Memphis Depay, and Steven Bergwijn have all tried their hand in English football only to stumble and swiftly move elsewhere. This past campaign, a new stock of attackers has made the short trek to England - chief among them Antony dos Santos, Cody Gakpo and Noni Madueke - to mixed success thus far.
Many jump to the existence of an ‘Eredivisie tax’ to explain such mixed results - a statement so nondescript it’s almost a superstition. But like all good football cliches, the concept is based on a hidden kernel of truth. Close analysis of a player’s performances in the Eredivisie can better help us understand how they might adapt to the Premier League before the move - or in the case of our three subjects, find out why they’ve struggled in England and whether they have the skillset to fix it.
Spoilers: the taxman has collected from Antony and Gakpo, but Madueke may still escape scot-free.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to SCOUTED Notebook to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.