After Manchester United's Depay deal – Five Eredivisie stars who flopped, including Mateja Kezman

Ryan Babel

With Manchester United announcing the signing of PSV Eindhoven winger Memphis Depay, here are five Eredivisie stars who struggled in the Premier League.

Manchester United fans are a happy bunch today after the Red Devils took to social media to announce the signature of Memphis Depay, but supporters should not celebrate just yet.

News that the Old Trafford club had completed the capture of the PSV Eindhoven winger first broke via Twitter with an announcement on the official Manchester United account.

#mufc has reached an agreement with PSV Eindhoven & Memphis Depay for the player's transfer, subject to a medical. pic.twitter.com/RdrJglzQGv

— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 7, 2015

After helping PSV to an Eredivisie title this term with 21 goals in 28 league games, it’s fair to say that the 21-year-old's stock is at an all-time high.

But Depay would not be the first star from the Dutch top-flight to find life a little tougher in England.

Here are five players who failed to take their Eredivisie form through to the Premier League.

5. Afonso Alves – Middlesbrough

Signed by Steve McClaren for an eye-watering €20 million in January 2008, Alves arrived at the Riverside having scored an incredible 48 goals in 48 games with Heerenveen.

He would get nowhere near that total in two years with the Teesiders, scoring 13 goals in 47 largely lumbering performances before heading off to the Middle East with Al-Sadd.

4. Alexander Buttner – Manchester United

One of Sir Alex Ferguson’s last signings at Old Trafford also happened to be among his most forgettable, with Buttner brought to the club from Vitesse Arnhem in the summer of 2012.

Things started well enough, with Buttner not only scoring but claiming the Man of the Match award on his United debut against Wigan. Yet, he would go on to play just 12 more times in the Premier League before leaving for Russia after Louis van Gaal took an almost instant dislike to him.

3. John Dahl Tomasson – Newcastle United

A controversial inclusion perhaps, given what he achieved later in his career with Feyenoord and AC Milan but it’s difficult to label Tomasson’s spell at St James’ Park as anything other than a disaster.

Signed by Kenny Dalglish from Heerenveen in July 1997, the Dane operated best in a supporting striker role but a long-term injury to Alan Shearer forced Tomasson to lead the line. After managing 24 goals in his last 38 games in Holland, he scored just four in 35 during a one-season stay at Newcastle.

2. Ryan Babel – Liverpool

Though he played some 146 games for Liverpool during his time at Anfield, it’s difficult to shake the feeling that Babel failed to justify the £14 million the Reds shelled out to get him from Ajax.

Brought to the Merseysiders in the summer of 2007, after impressing for Holland at the UEFA Under-21 Championships, Babel scored just 22 goals in his Liverpool career and left early in the 2010-11 season. Nomadic spells with Hoffenheim, Ajax and Turkish side Kasimpasa have followed.

1. Mateja Kezman – Chelsea

Part of the Batman and Robin duo at PSV Eindhoven alongside Arjen Robben, while his Dutch teammate’s career soared after leaving Holland, the Serbian goal-poacher went from Football Manager favourite to Chelsea outcast after scoring four league goals in 25 games.

Spells in Spain, Turkey, France, Russia, China and Belarus have followed, with the striker failing to ever rediscover the electric form that saw him manage 105 goals in 122 Eredivisie outings for PSV.

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