Luuk de Jong: PSV’s Prolific Talisman

  Name: Luuk de Jong

Club: PSV Eindhoven

Nationality: Netherlands

                Position: Center Forward

                Preferred Foot: Right

                Height: 6’2”/188cm

                Age: 33


It has been 12 years since Luuk de Jong burst onto the scene for Twente, scoring 25 goals in his first Eredivisie season and finishing join-second in the scoring charts, before departing the Netherlands for the first time in his life and making the move to Borussia Monchengladbach for €15 million. De Jong would struggle for opportunities in Germany after falling out with manager Lucien Favre, with the Dutchman making the loan move to Newcastle in January 2014 and failing to score in each of his 12 appearances.


Born in Aigle, Switzerland, De Jong joined his third Dutch club in 2014 a mere two years after leaving his home country, having previously developed at the academies of DZC ‘68 and De Graafschap. He made the move to PSV in the summer of 2014, quickly emerging as a key figure in attack for Phillip Cocu’s side with 20 goals in 32 league matches. Alongside the likes of Memphis Depay, Georginio Wijnaldum and Andres Guardado, De Jong played a leading role in their first league title in seven years.


Johan Bakayoko: The Belgian Sensation Driving PSV’s Perfect Start


He would add to his goal tally and trophy haul before making the move to Sevilla in 2019, where he would play a vital role under Julen Lopetegui, scoring the winner in their 2-1 victory against Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League semifinal and grabbing a brace in their 3-2 win vs. Inter in the final. However, the arrival of Youssef En-Nesyri would see him fall behind in the pecking order, with the Dutchman heading out on loan to Barcelona for the 2021/22 season, before heading back to the Netherlands and returning to PSV Eindhoven.


The 2022/23 season would see him announce his retirement from the Netherlands national team, putting an end to a career that saw him score 8 goals in 39 appearances as well as play in the 2022 World Cup and Euro 2020. It also saw him quickly emerge as a starter under Ruud van Nistelrooy, racking up 14 goals in 24 appearances as PSV finished second to Feyenoord and beat Ajax in the KNVB Cup Final.


After a summer that saw them lose Van Nistelrooy and key players such as Ibrahim Sangare, Xavi Simons and Jarrad Branthwaite, De Jong has led by example and delivered a stellar campaign as club captain for PSV. At 33 years of age, he continues to go strong, fending off competition from new arrival Ricardo Pepi and setting the momentum for what could very well be PSV’s first league title in six years.


Peter Bosz’s side began the season with 17 straight wins, equalling a record set by their 1987/88 team, and they kicked off 2024 with a 3-1 win against Excelsior courtesy of De Jong’s hat-trick before adding another in their 3-1 win against Twente in the cup. Their flawless run came to an end on January 21 when, despite taking the lead within 7 minutes via Johan Bakayoko, they were held to a 1-1 draw at Utrecht. The following match would see Feyenoord prevail 1-0 in the Round of 16 courtesy of Quinten Timber’s early goal, with PSV losing to a Dutch opponent for the first time in 365 days.



PSV bounced back in style with a 2-0 victory against Almere City, with De Jong breaking the deadlock before halftime and sealing the deal in the 63rd minute via the penalty spot. The following match would see Steven Berghuis give Ajax an early lead, only for De Jong to equalize shortly after in a 1-1 draw. PSV sit 10 points above Feyenoord, 15 above Twente and 21 above AZ Alkamaar and Ajax, and they will face off against two of the league’s bottom four sides in FC Volendam and Heracles before hosting Borussia Dortmund.


The ex Barcelona forward has proven vital in attack with 18 goals and 7 assists in 20 appearances in the Eredivisie, whilst he’s also emerged as an indispensable talisman in the UEFA Champions League, scoring 5 goals and 2 assists in 4 qualifiers to lead his side past Sturm Graz and Rangers. Whilst his group stage campaign began in an inauspicious manner with a 4-0 defeat at Arsenal, De Jong would find the back of the net against Sevilla and Lens as PSV finished second in their group, booking their ticket for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 for the first time in eight years.


De Jong shows no signs of slowing down, leading the Eredivisie for goal contributions (24), whilst only Vangelis Pavlidis (20) and Santiago Giménez) have scored more goals in the league than De Jong (17). At 6’2″, he is an aerially imposing presence who uses his height to his advantage, and alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, he will go down as one of the most efficient strikers in the air of this generation. De Jong has racked up 252 goals and 127 assists in 595 appearances across his entire playing career, with nearly half of those goals being headers (102) — of those 102, 34 were the winning goal.



He is the ideal target man and has emerged as an effective playmaker with 2.0 key passes per game and 10 big chances created, second only to Steven Berghuis (11), Joey Veerman (11) and Yukinari Sugawara (12) in the Eredivisie. He is capable of picking out the right man and timing his through ball to perfection as well as caressing a long ball into the path of a teammate. He is constantly getting on the end of chances and making himself a nuisance for the opposing defense, with the veteran striker sitting in the top three in the Eredivisie for total shots per game, shots on target per game, and expected goals.


Whilst his international career has come to an end, Luuk de Jong is showing there’s still plenty of oil left in the tank as far as his club career is concerned. He is on pace to take home his fifth Eredivisie championship, having previously won three at PSV and one at Twente, and at 33 years old, he continues to age like fine wine for a PSV side that is running away with the league title with 62 goals scored, 8 conceded, and 55 out of a possible 57 points.


By: Ogenyi Paul / @234programmer

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / ANP – Getty Images