Sky Sports pundit Andy Walker is “surprised” that Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst hasn’t used his Dutch connections to sign players from the Eredivisie.
The Scottish club’s summer recruitment strategy has been heavily criticised, and Walker says even Celtic have managed to find gems in the Netherlands previously, so it’s hard to understand why van Bronckhorst hasn’t returned to his homeland to snap up talent:
“I’m just surprised there’s no Dutch involvement in the 25-man squad he’s got. It is a surprise a Dutch manager hasn’t got a Dutch player. You would think he would know someone. I remember doing a Scotland U21s game years ago and John Park was there (as a scout) for Celtic.”
“Virgil Van Dijk was playing for Holland and not so long after that he was playing for Celtic. Quincy Promes was also playing I think and he moved to Spartak Moscow. I just think a Dutch manager who has played at the highest level, knowing all the coaches… you would think he would be able to spot someone who would come over and make a difference.”
Walker is making a valid point. There is a massive pool of talent in the Eredivisie and there is no discernible explanation for why the Light Blues would ignore the Dutch market.
The only possible reason is if van Bronckhorst has no say on recruitment whatsoever. Director of Football Ross Wilson could be dictating transfer strategy to such a degree that recommendations from the coaching staff are not taken on board.
It would be a surprise if that is the case, though, considering every manager needs players who can fit into their system, but the lack of new signings who are getting starts this season may hint at a sizeable disconnect between the manager and the recruitment team.