Gakpo next: Ranking all 10 of Liverpool’s previous Dutch players

Liverpool have been blessed with some top talents from the Netherlands over the years, but it’s probably fair to say that some of these got on better than others at Anfield.

Cody Gakpo will be the next Dutch player to play for Liverpool after the club managed to pip Manchester United to his signature. Gakpo himself will be hoping to feature high up on this list in the future.

Throughout Liverpool’s history they have had 10 Dutch players that have played a competitive match for them and we’ve ranked them from worst to best.

10. Jan Kromkamp

Kromkamp joined Liverpool in January 2006 as part of a swap deal with Josemi heading in the opposite direction to Villarreal. Ultimately the right-back struggled to make an impression during his short stint at the club.

Steve Finnan was ahead of him in the pecking order and so most of his appearances came from the bench. He did leave Anfield with an FA Cup winners medal to be fair.

9. Ki-Jana Hoever

Liverpool picked up Hoever from the Ajax youth academy and while he only played four matches for the Reds they were able to cash in on him for a sizeable profit.

In September 2020 Wolves purchased him for £9million and he has since gone on to make 20 Premier League appearances. Still only 20-years-old he is spending this season on loan with PSV Eindhoven.

8. Sepp van den Berg

Plenty of Liverpool fans still have high hopes when it comes to Van den Berg. The Dutch defender has made four first-team appearances and is currently on loan with Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga.

Unfortunately, the 21-year-old suffered serious ligament damage back in September and he has been ruled out for the foreseeable future. Hopefully, we’ll see him back in action soon.

7. Erik Meijer

Meijer became somewhat of a cult hero during his time at Anfield, but he ultimately struggled to make a huge impression at the club. Across his 26 appearances for the club the striker only scored two goals.

He was sent on loan to Preston North End before then being sold to Hamburger SV.

6. Ryan Babel

Babel is an interesting one. The Dutch winger had the world at his feet during 2007 when he moved over to Liverpool and while he did go on and play 146 matches for the Reds, it still feels like he could have achieved more.

READ: Ryan Babel didn’t fulfil his potential, but football needs more like him

5. Bolo Zenden

A cruciate ligament injury ultimately cut short Zenden’s first season with the club after he made a bright start in the Premier League. Despite his injury troubles whilst at the club, he still contributed towards plenty of success.

The Dutch midfielder won two trophies during his spell at the club and made 47 appearances across two seasons.

4. Sander Westerveld

Westerveld succeeded David James at Liverpool in 1999 and spent two seasons as the number-one goalkeeper. The shot-stopper won five trophies during his stint at Anfield and made over 100 appearances for the club.

On the last day of August 2001, Gerard Houllier signed two new goalkeepers, Chris Kirkland and Jerzy Dudek, and promptly replaced Westerveld without much hesitation.

Westerveld made a costly mistake against Bolton Wanderers which ultimately sealed his fate. The goalkeeper still has reservations over the manner of his departure claiming: “I know what happened, but I still don’t understand it.”

Liverpool's Sander Westerveld celebrates beating Alaves. Westfalenstadion, Dortmund May 2001.

READ: Sander Westerveld: ‘I still don’t know why Liverpool got rid of me’

3. Gini Wijnaldum

There’s no doubt that Wijnaldum had a terrific five-year stint with Liverpool which saw him win both the Premier League and Champions League.

The Dutch midfielder offered a tireless work rate across his 237 appearances and he produced several match-winning moments during his spell with the club. He will always be fondly remembered for his brace against Barcelona in the Champions League.

2. Dirk Kuyt

While Kuyt’s spell at Anfield didn’t coincide with huge success, his impact between 2006-2012 cannot be underestimated. The Dutch forward scored 71 goals across 286 appearances for Liverpool.

His only trophy for Liverpool came during his final season with the club as Liverpool beat Cardiff on penalties to lift the 2011–12 League Cup. Kuyt himself scored in extra-time and converted his penalty in the shootout.

1. Virgil van Dijk

Van Dijk is undoubtedly Liverpool’s best-ever Dutch player. The expectations on his shoulders were sky-high when he joined from Southampton for a £75million fee but he has proven to be exceptional value for money.

At his peak, he was widely regarded as the best defender in the world and he played a crucial role in Liverpool’s Premier League and Champions League triumphs. Had it not been for Lionel Messi’s exceptional 2018-19 season he would have also won a Ballon d’Or.

He will be remembered as one of the best defenders in Premier League history and he still has plenty left in the tank for future title challenges to come.

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