Top Dutch goal-scorers in Premier League history
Robin van Persie is one of the first names that comes to mind when discussing the iconic Dutchmen who took the Premier League by storm. Unsurprisingly, he tops the list for most goals in the league, having netted regularly during his time with both Arsenal and Manchester United. On his 36th birthday, we have a look at the top five highest-scoring Dutchman in Premier League history.
Robin van Persie (144)
No Dutch player has scored more goals in the Premier League than van Persie’s 144. The Netherlands striker spent a decade in England after joining Arsenal from Feyenoord at a young age and going on the lead their frontline. With Arsenal, he won the FA Cup and two Premier League Golden Boots. However, he only lifted the Premier League trophy after joining Manchester United in the summer of 2012.
The Dutch legend would go on to have a transformative effect on Manchester United after joining the club and led them to their 20th league title as their talisman. He finished as United’s top-scorer that season, won the club’s Player of the Year award and went on to seal the league title with a stunning hat-trick against Aston Villa.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (127)
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was a fan-favourite at Chelsea before the Roman Abramovich era. However, he first came to England after being spotted and signed by Leeds United. Hasselbaink spent two seasons at Leeds and was regularly on the scoresheet, earning him a move to Atletico Madrid in Spain. However, following just one season with Atletico in La Liga, the Dutch striker returned to England in the blue of Chelsea this time.
He went on to spend four seasons with Chelsea before also playing for the likes of Middlesbrough and Charlton Athletic in England’s top-flight. His clinical nature in front of goal saw Hasselbaink find the back of the net 127 times in the Premier League as well as win two Golden Boot awards in 1999 and in 2001.
Ruud van Nistelrooy (95)
Perhaps the most lethal finisher to have ever played in the Premier League, Ruud van Nistelrooy’s five seasons in the Premier League was marked by goals galore for the Netherlands hitman. In the league, he scored 95 times for the Red Devils from 2001 to 2006 and won both the Premier League as well as the FA Cup once.
The 2002-03 Premier League season also saw him win the Golden Boot award, edging out the legendary Thierry Henry. He also held the record for scoring in 10 consecutive Premier League games before Jamie Vardy broke it after netting in 11 successive league fixtures in 2015.
Dennis Bergkamp (87)
A man with a statue of his own outside Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, David Bergkamp was a key cog for the Gunners and played a huge role in helping the north London club to three Premier League triumphs. While he scored 87 times for the Gunners, Bergkamp’s contribution cannot solely be measured in goals. His playmaking skills were unparalleled at the time, with his deft touches and guile with the ball at his feet proving to be a source of nightmares for opposition defenders.
Besides his goals, Bergkamp’s contribution to the team came in assists and key passes to carve open defences. Apart from the three league wins with Arsenal, he was also a part of three FA Cup wins with the Gunners and a member of the club’s invincible team that went the full season without suffering a loss in the Premier League.
Dirk Kuyt (51)
Dirk Kuyt’s time in England with Liverpool may not have been the most successful in terms of silverware but the former Dutch international certainly endeared himself to the fans on the red side of Merseyside. He eventually left Liverpool as a cult hero after six seasons at the club and won the League Cup with them in 2012. A hard-working and versatile player, Kuyt rattled the back of the net on 51 occasions for the Reds. One of his most memorable performances in the red of Liverpool came when he netted a hat-trick against bitter rivals Manchester United during a 3-1 win in Anfield in 2011.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Andrew Yates