The 9 “van’s” to have scored in the Premier League

Ricky van Wolfswinkel

Norwich City’s new summer signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel because the ninth “van” to score in the Premier League with his equalising goal for the Canaries in their opening game against Everton.

Here is a list of the nine “van’s” to have scored during the Premier League era:

Robin van der Laan (22 March 1997)

Derby County’s Robin van der Laan because the first with this surname to score in the Premier League. The Dutch midfielder opened his account during the Rams’ 4-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at the Baseball Ground during their first season in the Premier League.

Robin van der Laan went on to score 8 goals in 65 Premier League appearances, all for Derby.

Ulrich van Gobbel (22 March 1997)

On the same day as Robin van der Laan scored for Derby County, Southampton’s Dutch defender Ulrich van Gobbel also found the back of the net. Whilst van der Laan scored in the 10th minute that day, van Gobbel’s effort was a 48th minute goal in a 2-2 draw with Leicester City.

That would turn out to be Ulrich van Gobbel ‘s only Premier League goal during a short stay at the Dell which saw him make 27 appearances before going back to Feyenoord.

Pierre van Hooijdonk (19 April 1997)

Signing for Nottingham Forest in March 1997 (before such transfer windows), Pierre van Hooijdonk scored his first and only goal of the Premier League that season in a 1-1 draw with Leeds United. The Dutch striker was unable to save Forest from relegation that season however, but did top scorer the following year in Division One to take Dave Bassett’s side back into the top flight at the first attempt.

Pierre van Hooijdonk scored 7 goals in 29 Premier League appearances for Nottingham Forest; the only English top flight side he played for.

Ruud van Nistelrooy (19 August 2001)

The second-highest scoring “van” in Premier League history to date, Ruud van Nistelrooy joined Manchester United in 2001; a year after the initial proposed moved fell through after a serious injured to the PSV Eindhoven striker. The Dutch ace opened his account for the Red Devils with a brace on the opening day of the season during a 3-2 victory over Fulham. He would end his debut season with 23 goals; one less than the league’s top scorer Thierry Henry.

Ruud van Nistelrooy went on to score 95 goals in 150 Premier League appearances for Manchester United between 2001 and 2006 before moving to Real Madrid.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst (23 January 2002)

Arsène Wenger made a Dutch signing from Scottish Premier League side Glasgow Rangers in the summer of 2001. Playing mostly in defence, Giovanni van Bronckhorst opened his account for the Gunners in January 2002 during a 3-1 victory at Leicester City.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst scored twice during 41 Premier League appearances for Arsenal before moving to Barcelona in August 2003, initially on loan.

Robin van Persie (30 October 2004)

What proved to be another bargain signing by Arsène Wenger when he brought Robin van Persie to Arsenal for £2.75m from Feyenoord in the summer of 2004, the Dutch striker opened his account for the Gunners in October 2004 during a 2-2 home draw versus Southampton.

Robin van Persie scored 96 goals in 194 Premier League appearances for Arsenal and a further 28 goals in 39 Premier League games for Manchester United, including his brace on Saturday. He has top scorer in the league for each of the past two seasons.

Jelle van Damme (11 September 2010)

After a spell at Southampton between 2004-06 which saw Jelle van Damme make just half a dozen appearances, the Belgian defender returned to the Premier League in 2010 with Mick McCarthy’s Wolves in 2010. The big defender made exactly 6 appearances in the Premier League for Wolves too but did score in a 2-1 defeat at Fulham towards the beginning of the season.

Starting in a 2-1 win over Stoke City on the opening day was the only Premier League win of van Damme’s career. He is the only Belgian on this list, the other eight players are Dutch.

Rafael van der Vaart (18 September 2010)

Harry Redknapp’s transfer deadline day bargain of Rafael van der Vaart from Real Madrid in 2010 made a big impact during his time at White Hart Lane. It didn’t take the Dutch playmaker long to settle into the team, scoring in his second Premier League appearance; a 3-1 win over Wolves.

Rafael van der Vaart scored 24 goals in 63 Premier League games for Tottenham over two seasons before his wife requested that he moved back to Hamburg.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel (17 August 2013)

The latest “van” to score in the Premier League was Norwich City’s Ricky van Wolfswinkel. The tall Dutch striker joined from Sporting Club of Portugal over the summer and marked his debut with a goal at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Daniel van Buyten (Manchester City), Patrick van Aanholt (Chelsea, Wigan Athletic), Raimond van der Gouw (Manchester United), Andy van der Meyde (Everton), Edwin van der Sar (Fulham, Manchester United) and Marco van Ginkel (Chelsea) are the other “van’s” to have played in the Premier League but not score. Two of them are goalkeepers and the later only made his debut on Sunday.