Top 5: Premier League’s Greatest Dutchmen

5. Jaap Stam

Now Reading manager, Stam.

A man mountain at the back and quite possibly the scariest man to ever play in the Premier League (Although Roy Keane definitely offers competition), Jaap Stam is at number five.

The Dutch centre-back only played three seasons in the Premier League at Manchester United, but he more than made his mark.

During that spell, he won pretty much everything at the club: three Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the Intercontinental Cup and the UEFA Champions League.

Although he was not much of a goal threat (he only scored once in 127 appearances), it could be argued Stam was one of the best central defenders in the Premier League era.

His presence at the back can be considered vital when you compare Manchester United’s form in the Premier League from 2000-2001 and 2001-2002. Although he would play a bit part in 2000-2001 due to injury, his presence was clearly effectual as Manchester United had the best defence in the league, conceding 31 goals in 38 games.

Stam would leave that summer, and as a result Manchester United would falter as they finished third, conceding 45 goals the following term.

His influence can be no greater summed up than by legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson himself, who conceded that selling Stam was his greatest managerial mistake in his 27-year tenure at Manchester United.

If that doesn’t sum up Stam’s greatness, I don’t know what does.

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