Dries Mertens

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Dries Mertens
DriesMertens.jpg
Mertens in 2011
Personal information
Full name Dries Mertens[1]
Date of birth (1987-05-06) 6 May 1987 (age 27)
Place of birth Leuven, Belgium
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current team
Napoli
Number 14
Youth career
1996–1998 Stade Leuven
1998–2003 Anderlecht
2003–2005 Gent
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2007 Gent 0 (0)
2005–2006 Eendracht Aalst (loan) 14 (4)
2006–2007 AGOVV (loan) 35 (2)
2007–2009 AGOVV 73 (28)
2009–2011 Utrecht 65 (16)
2011–2013 PSV 62 (37)
2013– Napoli 33 (11)
National team
2004 Belgium U17 4 (0)
2011– Belgium 28 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:25, 18 May 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 1 July 2014

Dries Mertens (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈdris ˈmɛrtə(n)s], born 6 May 1987) is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a winger for Napoli and the Belgium national team.

Prior to Napoli, Mertens played for K.A.A. Gent, Eendracht Aalst, AGOVV Apeldoorn, FC Utrecht and PSV Eindhoven.

A full international since 2011, Mertens has gained over 25 caps for Belgium, and played at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

As a schoolboy Mertens was picked up by the Belgian youth academy of Anderlecht. He never reached the first team and moved to Gent. After playing in the youth department and the reserves of Gent, he was promoted to the first team. He was subsequently signed on loan with third-class Eendracht Aalst, where he was awarded the fans' "Man of the Season". He later moved across the northern border, to play for the Dutch club AGOVV Apeldoorn.

AGOVV[edit]

He became one of the most important players in the Dutch second division team[2] and became the captain at AGOVV. After the 2008–09 season, Mertens won "De Gouden Stier", an award given to the Jupiler League's greatest talent.[3] On 25 May 2009, he announced his leaving and soon after, he signed with FC Utrecht.[4]

PSV Eindhoven[edit]

On 28 June 2011, it was announced that Mertens was transferred to Eredivisie club PSV Eindhoven in a duo-transfer with FC Utrecht teammate Kevin Strootman for a combined total of 13 million euros.[5][6]

Mertens scored his first hat-trick for PSV on 28 August 2011 against Excelsior.[7] He continued his strong performance throughout the early stages of the season, culminating with a four goal performance in a sensational 7–1 rout of Roda JC on 24 September 2011.[8] In his first season at PSV, Mertens scored 21 goals in 33 matches. In four KNVB Beker matches, he added three goals; including a header in the final at de Kuip in Rotterdam, leading PSV to a 3–0 win over Heracles Almelo.[9]

On 30 September 2012, Mertens and debutant Jürgen Locadia scored hat-tricks as PSV defeated VVV Venlo 6–0.[10] On 2 February 2013, Mertens scored two goals from outside the area as PSV thrashed ADO Den Haag 7–0.[11]

Napoli[edit]

On 16 June 2013, Mertens's agent Søren Lerby confirmed that the player had agreed to move to Napoli.[12] Mertens became Rafael Benítez's first signing as Napoli coach after a reported fee of €9.5 million was agreed with PSV.[13] He made his Serie A debut on 25 August 2013, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 3–0 win over Bologna.[14] His first goal for Napoli came on 30 October, netting the winner in a 2–1 away victory over Fiorentina.[15]

In Napoli's first game following the Serie A winter break on 6 January 2014, Mertens scored twice in the second-half to lead Napoli to a 2–0 win over Sampdoria.[16] Mertens scored Napoli's second goal in their 2–0 win over Juventus on 30 March, helping inflict only the second league defeat over the league leaders.[17] In the final of the Coppa Italia on 3 May 2014, Mertens replaced Marek Hamšík in the 64th minute and went on to score in stoppage time, securing a 3–1 win over Fiorentina.[18]

International career[edit]

On 1 October 2010, Mertens was called up for the Euro 2012 Qualifying Matches against Kazakhstan and Austria by Belgian national team coach, Georges Leekens.[19] He finally made his debut in the friendly match against Finland on 9 February 2011 in Ghent. On 15 August 2012, Mertens was vital in the 125th Derby der Lage Landen (Low Countries derby), when, after coming in as substitute, he scored once himself and assisted twice, turning a 1–2 deficit versus Netherlands into a 4–2 win for Belgium, in the prelude to the 2014 World Cup 2014 campaign.[20]

On 13 May 2014, he was named in Belgium's squad for the 2014 World Cup.[21] In Belgium's final warm-up match for the tournament on 7 June, Mertens scored a late winner to secure the Red Devils a 1–0 victory over Tunisia.[22] In their first game of the tournament, against Algeria in Belo Horizonte, Mertens replaced Nacer Chadli at half time with Belgium 1–0 down, and scored the winner with ten minutes to go.[23] He was then named in the starting line-up for the second match against Russia on 22 June.[24]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 18 May 2014.[25]
Club Season League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Eendracht Aalst 2005–06 14 4 0 0 14 4
AGOVV Apeldoorn 2006–07 35 2 0 0 35 2
2007–08 38 15 0 0 38 15
2008–09 35 13 2 1 37 14
Total 108 30 2 1 0 0 110 31
Utrecht 2009–10 34 6 5 1 39 7
2010–11 31 10 4 1 12 3 47 14
Total 65 16 9 2 12 3 86 21
PSV 2011–12 33 21 5 3 11 3 49 27
2012–13 29 16 4 1 6 1 39 18
Total 62 37 9 4 17 4 88 45
Napoli 2013-14 33 11 4 2 10 0 47 13
Total 33 11 4 2 10 0 47 13
Career totals 282 98 23 9 39 7 345 114

International goals[edit]

Score and Result lists Belgium's goals first. [26]

Honours[edit]

PSV Eindhoven
Napoli

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil: List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. 11 June 2014. p. 4. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Jupiler League Player Profile". Jupiler League. 
  3. ^ "Een Gouden Stier Voor Mertens (Dutch)". Voetbalkrant. 
  4. ^ Official: Utrecht Sign AGOVV Forward Dries Mertens
  5. ^ "PSV hengelt Utrecht-duo Mertens/Strootman binnen" (in Dutch). 28 June 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "PSV agree deals for Utrecht duo Dries Mertens & Kevin Strootman". Goal. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "PSV thrash Excelsior to move into third". The Daily Herald. 28 August 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "PSV Eindhoven 7–1 Roda JC". Goal. 24 September 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "Season review: Netherlands". UEFA. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "VVV-Venlo - PSV (30-9-2012)" (in Dutch). PSV. 30 September 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  11. ^ "Dries Mertens 2 wonder goals - PSV 7-0 ADO Den Haag". YouTube. 3 February 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "Lerby: "Mertens is een Napoli-speler"". 
  13. ^ "Napoli snap up Mertens". ESPNFC. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "Napoli 3–0 Bologna". ESPNFC. 25 August 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  15. ^ "Napoli keep pressure on Roma". ESPNFC. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  16. ^ "Mertens brace beats Samp". ESPNFC. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  17. ^ "Leaders Juventus lost for only the second time in Serie A this season as they fell to defeat at Napoli.". BBC. 30 March 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  18. ^ "Insigne brace seals Coppa". ESPNFC. 3 May 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  19. ^ "Four debutants in Belgium selection". UEFA.com. 1 October 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  20. ^ "Mertens aglow after Belgium floor Dutch". Berend Scholten on UEFA.com. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  21. ^ "Adnan Januzaj included in Belgium's World Cup squad". BBC Sport. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "Lukaku injured in late Belgium win". ESPNFC. 7 June 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  23. ^ Chowdhury, Saj (17 June 2014). "Belgium 2-1 Algeria". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  24. ^ "Brazil v Russia". BBC. 22 June 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  25. ^ "Belgium - D.Mertens - Profile with news, career statistics and history". Soccerway. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  26. ^ "Football PLAYER: Dries Mertens". Football.info. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  27. ^ http://www.fcupdate.nl/voetbaluitslagen/170763/
  28. ^ http://11tegen11.net/2012/08/05/psv-4-2-ajax-the-first-blow-is-for-advocaat/
  29. ^ http://www.legaseriea.it/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=e4810b18-abf4-4c8d-b9f8-cc8a4ef12881&groupId=10192

External links[edit]