The North East has seen a Dutch invasion this summer but how do Newcastle’s Georginio Wijnaldum and Sunderland’s Jeremain Lens compare?
Lens swapped Dynamo Kiev for Wearside when he completed his move to Sunderland for £8million, with head coach Dick Advocaat keen to work again with the exciting forward who he managed at both AZ Alkmaar and PSV Eindhoven.
The left-side proved a problem area for the Black Cats last season but Advocaat looks to have solved the issue with the capture of the highly-rated Dutch international.
Meanwhile, a bit further up the A19, attacking midfielder Wijnaldum was finally snapped up by Newcastle for a fee of £14.5million from PSV Eindhoven after a lengthy summer pursuit.
Newcastle’s head coach Steve McClaren knew the player, also a Dutch international, from his own time in Holland and he is expected to add a fresh spark to the Toon midfield.
Both are bursting with talent but how do the pair compare ahead of the new Premier League campaign?
Name: Jeremain Lens (Sunderland)
Former club: Dynamo Kiev
Age: 27 (Born 24 November 1987)
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Holland.
Height: 5ft 10ins
Previous clubs: Lens has previously played for NEC Nijmegen, AZ Alkmaar, PSV Eindhoven and Dynamo Kiev before deciding to test himself in the Premier League with Sunderland.
Advocaat knows Lens from their time together at AZ Alkmaar and PSV Eindhoven, and he will offer the pace in the final third which Sunderland have been badly lacking over recent seasons.
Career appearances: 325
Career goals: 89
Career assists: 82
Career Yellow cards: 44
International: Versatile Lens, who can play on either wing or up front, has appeared 29 times for Holland, scoring eight times and was part of the squad which finished third in last summer’s World Cup.
Career highlights: Part of the squad that finished third at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Under the management of now Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal, Lens scored five goals and made five assists during the World Cup qualifying campaign.
Name: Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle United)
Position: Atacking midfielder
Former club: PSV Eindhoven
Age: 24 (Born 11 November 1990)
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Holland
Height: 5ft 9ins
Previous clubs: Born in Rotterdam, Wijnaldum began his career with local side Sparta Rotterdam, remaining with them for seven seasons before joining neighbouring Feyenoord.
Wijnaldum made his first team debut for Feyenoord aged just 16, earning a man of the match award in what would be the first of 134 appearances in five seasons at De Kuip.
Shortly after being called into the Dutch senior squad for the first time in 2011, the midfielder made the switch to Eredivisie rivals PSV, where he would register 56 goals in 152 appearances.
Career appearances: 291
Career goals: 83
Career assists: 35
Career Yellow cards: 14
International: With 19 caps for the Netherlands, Wijnaldum becomes the fifth Dutch international in Steve McClaren’s squad alongside Tim Krul, Daryl Janmaat, Vurnon Anita and Siem de Jong.
Career highlights: As captain of PSV, Wijnaldum led the club to the Eredivisie title last season and was crowned Dutch Footballer of the Year 2014/15.