This Sunday it is time for PSV’s second start of the season. If you look at the difference between the selection at the first match of the season and the current one, after the closing of the second transfer window, you can easily state that.
~Ed: Welcome back to Joey! He has been writing articles for Eindhoven News about PSV in 2017 and 2018. He is a keen PSV supporter, knows the ins and outs and has been managing the PSV fan club. From now on he will keep you updated on the latest PSV news again.~
Exodus of players
No less than 14 players have left PSV this summer, while 11 were added to its current selection. Goalkeepers Jeroen Zoet (Spezia), Robbin Ruiter (Willem II), Luuk Koopmans (ADO Den Haag), Yanick van Osch (Fortuna Sittard) and Hidde Jurjus (KFC Uerdingen) walked out the door almost for free. Ritsu Doan (Arminia Bielefeld), Michal Sadilek (Slovan Liberec), Dante Rigo (ADO Den Haag) and Armindo Bruma (Olympiakos) chose to make minutes elsewhere on loan. Konstantinos Mitroglou (Olympique Marseille) and Ricardo Rodríguez (AC Milan) went back to their own clubs after a loan period in Eindhoven, while Ibrahim Afellay and Daniel Schwaab didn’t get a new contract and are still looking for a club. Sam Lammers is the one player that brought in serious money. The striker moved to Atalanta Bergamo for 9 million euro’s plus bonusses.
The incoming transfers have been shaking the ground not only in Eindhoven, but also nationally and internationally. When PSV presented head coach Roger Schmidt on March 11, most people didn’t really understand what a huge deal Technical Manager John de Jong just had inked. He and managing director Toon Gerbrands were criticized in a way that no one has ever seen happen in Eindhoven. A small group of fanatic PSV fans screamed for their heads when the results got even worse one month after club icon Mark van Bommel was fired. The managers decided to not let the pressure drive them away from their goals. Looking at the latest attractions, most people will admit now they are the right people for their positions in this day and age.
PSV never looked this German
With Lars Kornetka, Jörn Wolf und Benjamin Kügel, Roger Schmidt brought some heavy weight German staff members to Eindhoven. With goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall and Timo Baumgartl there were already two Germans part of the players selection, Philipp Max brought the total to three, as the left back that PSV had needed for a long time already. Just before the closing of the first transfer window, the Suiss man Yvon Mvogo was brought to Eindhoven as ‘footballing goalkeeper’, which suits Schmidt’s ‘volgassfussbal’ better. During the second transfer window De Jong signed Ivorian midfielder Ibrahim Sangaré for 9 million euro and contracted Israeli striker Eran Zahavi contract free for two seasons.
Then, shortly before the deadline day, PSV signed the German talent Vincent Müller for PSV Under 21, and on the last day arranged loan deals with midfielder Adrian Fein (Bayer Munich) and Marco van Ginkel (Chelsea). But the real groundshaker was the announcement of Mario Götze as defender of the red and white. His first interview at the club shows a motivated, in shape and happy eleventh German member of the PSV squad of the 2020/2021 season. The club managers gave all the credits for bringing this World Champion to Eindhoven to Roger Schmidt, with Gerbrands happily mentioning the 124 million plus hits on social media platforms caused by the latest inked deal.
What about the young talents?
Several people have been speaking out their concerns for what will happen to PSV talent Mohamed Ihattaren, Noni Madueke and other talents from the PSV Academy, now that such huge names have joined the selection. During this week’s pre-match press conference, Schmidt replied to the question about his ideal midfield and which players are now most important with the following statement: “All of them are most important because we need all of them. We didn’t have enough, and now with 20 players it is the minimum for our season. I noticed the schedule from Thursday to Sunday is very tough for the players, especially if you have no rhythm. I am happy we have more options now. I think the way we manage things together here in Eindhoven is really good, it fits me well and I am happy with that”.
You can watch the full pre-match press conference here.
Sunday’s opponent: PEC Zwolle
PSV will kick off their fifth match of the season in and against Zwolle, at 16:45 (4:45 PM) local time at the MAC3PARK Stadion. It’s a funny coincidence that the Bluefingers have two Germans in their selection: goalkeeper Michael Zetterer is rented from Werder Bremen, and midfielder Rico Strieder is a product of the Bayern Munich youth academy. Immanuel Pherai is a Dutch midfielder, but has a contract with Borussia Dortmund. Defender Kenneth Paal and attacking midfielder Clint Leemans are products of the PSV Youth Academy, so the number 9 of the Eredivisie are most likely very motivated to show their skills this sunday. PSV won 15 of the 20 away games in Zwolle and lost only 2, the last time in September of 2014. Winning tomorrow means they keep their lead position on the ranking of the Eredivisie.
PSV squad fitness
Roger Schmidt is dealing with a couple of insecurities and injuries for the coming ‘English weeks’ as he called the busy period coming up. Central defender Jordan Teze was tested positive on Covid-19 while in training with the Dutch Under 21 team, but is ready to come back again. Cody Gakpo played good matches with the same Dutch selection, after which he suffered some pains in his ankle, but he is also back in training. Mohamed Ihattaren was a little sick, but able to train with the group again since thursday. Érick Gutiérrez, Maxi Romero and Armando Obispo all have long term injuries, while Marco van Ginkel is getting closer and closer to fully recover from one. Eran Zahavi was slightly ill due to a jetlag from the flights he had to make for the Israeli national team.
Watch some great footage of this week’s training here.
Government allows professional football
The Dutch government has taken extra measures in order to fight the corona-virus, which sees a huge comeback in the Netherlands, especially in the last weeks. Luckily all professional football matches can continue as planned, albeit still without audiences. This goes for national and European football of all Dutch teams.
Article by Joey van der Hart for Eindhoven News