‘Seven years ago I would have called you crazy’

‘Seven years ago I would have called you crazy’

Orange goalkeeper Flekken to Premier League, signs for four years at Brentford

Mark Flekken is transferring to England’s Brentford. The club from London finished ninth in the Premier League last year. The goalkeeper, who played four international matches for the Dutch national team, has signed for four years.

Brentford reportedly paid 13 million euros for Flekken. The 29-year-old Flekken had been keeping for Germany’s SC Freiburg since 2018. Last season he achieved thirteen clean sheets, the highest in the entire Bundesliga.

“If you had told me seven years ago, when I was playing in Germany’s third division, that one day I would be playing in the Premier League, I would have called you crazy,” Flekken said. “It’s a dream come true and my next step.”

Former goalkeeper Schmadtke new technical director Liverpool

Liverpool has appointed former goalkeeper Jorg Schmadtke as technical director. The German takes over the position at the English top club from Julian Ward, who is leaving after more than a decade of service.

The 59-year-old Schmadtke will become coach Jürgen Klopp’s right-hand man. He was technical director at Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg until the beginning of this year. At Liverpool, the Oranje internationals Virgil van Dijk and Cody Gakpo play soccer.

AZ transfers talents to A squad

Wouter Goes, Mexx Meerdink, Rome-Jayden Owusu-Oduro and Lewis Schouten are part of AZ’s A-selection next season. Ernest Poku also returns to the main squad of the number 4 of the Eredivisie. The five talents won the prestigious Youth League last season with the highest youth team of their club.

Goes, Meerdink and Poku have already made their debuts in the first team. Owusu-Oduro and Schouten were on the bench at a first-team match, but they were not allowed to fill in.

Bozdogan definitely to Utrecht

FC Utrecht is definitively acquiring Can Bozdogan from Schalke 04. The 22-year-old German midfielder, who already played last season on a rental basis with Utrecht, signs a contract until the summer of 2026.

Bozdogan came to 24 games in the premier league this season in which he scored once. From mid-February to mid-April, he was sidelined with an injury. “Over the past year, Can has shown added value and has become an important link within the team,” said Jordy Zuidam, FC Utrecht’s technical director.

Schalke were relegated from the Bundesliga last weekend.

Can Bozdogan

FC Groningen talks to Robben

FC Groningen is in talks with Arjen Robben, according to RTV Noord. The club relegated from the premier league wants to tie the former international as youth coach.

Robben ended his soccer career two seasons ago at FC Groningen, at the club where he also once made his debut as a professional soccer player. Last year, he took his first step as a trainer, with the youth of Be Quick. Robben has two sons, Luka and Kai, who will play in the youth team of FC Groningen starting next season.

Ajax looks at players in Sweden

Häcken’s sporting director informs Sportsbladet that Ajax came to view two players on Monday. They are said to be striker Bénie Traoré (20) and midfielder Amane Romeo (19).

Both Ivorians have been brisk lately in Sweden’s top division, with Traoré in particular standing out for his 10 goals in 11 games this season. By the way, they are both still fixed until the end of 2026, so Ajax will have to dig deep if it decides to take further action.

Wilms extends contract at top club Wolfsburg

Soccer international Lynn Wilms has extended her contract with Champions League finalist VfL Wolfsburg until the summer of 2025. The 22-year-old former FC Twente defender is in her second season in Germany, where she took the national title last year. Wilms also won the German Cup twice.

“I am enjoying myself at Wolfsburg and it feels very good to stay here longer,” Wilms believes. “Wolfsburg is a big club with top players, who motivate me tremendously and make me better.” Wilms, along with Jill Roord and Dominique Janssen, will face FC Barcelona on Saturday in Eindhoven in the Champions League final.

Lynn Wilms and Dominique Janssen after winning the DFB Pokal with VfL Wolfsburg

Emmen has new director

FC Emmen wants to develop into a stable club in the premier league with Rinse Bleeker as general manager. The number sixteen of last season – the Drenten still have to secure survival via the nacompetition – has a new top man with Bleeker as of July 1.

Chairman Ronald Lubbers is absent from Emmen for the time being due to health problems.

“In our search for a general manager, we focused on a connector with a lot of managerial experience and affinity with (top) sports,” board member Herman Harms announced. “We are convinced that with Rinse we have found this combination. In addition, in our talks he has shown to have the same northern sobriety that suits us perfectly.” In recent years Bleeker was general manager at Sportstad Heerenveen.

‘Bayern coach Tuchel calls with wanted Declan Rice’

West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice is wanted. According to Sky, one of the clubs with interest in the 24-year-old Englishman is Bayern Munich. In fact, Thomas Tuchel is said to have already called Rice to discuss a transfer. The England international is also in the interest of major English clubs.

Rice played earlier this month with his club West Ham against AZ. The two-game draw in the Conference League earned the English a spot in the final. That final is next Wednesday against Fiorentina. So it might just be Rice’s last game for the club.

Ten Hag wants reinforcements: ‘Have to invest’

Erik ten Hag has stated several times in recent days that he thinks Manchester United should pull out the purse strings to get new players this summer. Because despite his team being on the right track, more is needed to really attack the top. “If you want to compete in this league, you have to invest,” Ten Hag said.

After the last league game he already hinted at several summer purchases, in an interview in The Times he repeated that call this Monday. Ten Hag says that all the clubs that want to compete for Champions League places strengthened considerably last winter. Ten Hag had to make do with mercenaries such as Wout Weghorst.

In particular, the striker position needs to be strengthened, says the Dutch manager. Who finished third in the Premier League with Man United and plays the FA Cup final against Manchester City next weekend.

Scotland’s vice-top scorer must help Groningen get goals

FC Groningen is interested in 31-year-old Kevin van Veen, RTV Noord reports. The Dutch striker scored 25 goals last season in the Scottish Premiership for Motherwell. Only Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic scored more goals at the highest Scottish level (27).

Van Veen has a special history. He did not break through in the Netherlands with Helmond Sport and then returned to the amateurs and went to work as a plasterer. He did that top TOP Oss offered him a new chance. At that club, Van Veen earned a transfer to English side Scunthorpe United, which was then operating at England’s third professional level.

That club also loaned him to Cambuur for a short time, but there his goal production stopped. Then Van Veen ended up in Scotland again via Scunthorpe and Northampton. Now relegated Groningen wants to snatch him away in the hunt for promotion to the Premier League.

PSV reports to Spierings’ agent.

Toulouse’s good play is likely to earn not only Branco van den Boomen, but also Stijn Spierings a transfer. According to both VI and the Eindhovens Dagblad, PSV have reported to Spierings’ agent.

The 27-year-old former player of Sparta and RKC Waalwijk is transfer-free and thus an interesting target. Several clubs are said to be interested.

Spierings is a base player at the French club. Before his time in France, Spierings also played for Levski Sofia.

Ajax gets ‘proud’ Branco van den Boomen

Midfielder Branco van den Boomen will play for Ajax next season. The Amsterdam club has committed the midfielder until the 2026/2027 season. “I am very happy that we were able to capture him, he could choose from a lot of clubs,” said technical director Sven Mislintat on Ajax’s club channel.

Van den Boomen played in youth at Ajax and made his debut in professional soccer at Jong Ajax. He then played in the Netherlands for FC Eindhoven, SC Heerenveen and De Graafschap. Van den Boomen is especially proud to play at Ajax again. “I am proud of myself and proud that I can come and play at this beautiful club again. The biggest club in the Netherlands.”

For the past three seasons, the 27-year-old midfielder played in France with Toulouse. With that club he became champion at the second level. Last season he won the French Cup with Toulouse.

Van den Boomen’s contract expires this summer, so he comes to Amsterdam free of charge.

Kayleigh Williams