Dutch quartet Jeremie Frimpong, Xavi Simons, Donyell Malen and Matthijs de Ligt (l-r.) are among the most impressive performers in the Bundesliga this season. - © DFL
Dutch quartet Jeremie Frimpong, Xavi Simons, Donyell Malen and Matthijs de Ligt (l-r.) are among the most impressive performers in the Bundesliga this season. - © DFL

De Ligt, Frimpong, Malen, Xavi and Weghorst: Five Netherlands stars out to beat Germany


Matthijs de Ligt, Jeremie Frimpong, Donyell Malen, Xavi and Wout Weghorst have all been called-up to the Netherlands side for friendlies which include a meeting with Germany, the nation they currently call home.

bundesliga.com looks at the quintet's excellent seasons so far and why they pose Julian Nagelsmann's side a major threat when the rival nations meet...

Donyell Malen

The Borussia Dortmund forward has been in stunning form this term and a driving force in his club side's resurgence in 2024. A total of 11 league strikes in 23 appearances already make for Malen's best Bundesliga campaign to date in front of goal and, with four goals in his last four in the top-flight, he went into the international break full of confidence.  

Watch: Every Donyell Malen goal in 2023/24

His crucial goal in Eindhoven in the 1-1 first-leg draw in the UEFA Champions League last-16 was a timely reminder of his talents for those back home who have slept on Malen recently. And there will be a few given that Malen scored the last of his five international goals in June 2023. The 25-year-old will be hoping to improve on that record over the coming fortnight as he adds to his 28 Netherlands caps.

Jeremie Frimpong

Frimpong may only be 23 but it's a major surprise the Bayer Leverkusen flier has just one senior international cap in his cupboard. After all, he was already a treble-winner in Scotland with Celtic even before he rocked up in Leverkusen and took the BayArena by storm. He did eventually get international honours with a 28-minute appearance against France last October, and the Amsterdam-native will surely now be a regular in orange for years to come.

Watch: All of Frimpong's 2023/24 goals and assists so far

That looks clear from his club form at least. Frimpong has been integral to Leverkusen's rampant performances this season, which has opened up a 10-point gap to record reigning champions Bayern Munich going into the international break. He has eight goals and seven assists in the league, with a further two goals in Europe and four contributions in the DFB Cup. All-in, it leaves Frimpong with 11 goals and 11 assists in 33 appearances across all competitions in 2023/24, helping unbeaten Leverkusen push towards what would be an historic treble.


He may be three years Frimpong's junior, but Xavi has 10 more caps to his name already. Six of those have come since he joined RB Leipzig on loan in the summer and he is another who should represent his nation for a long time to come. Even now, it's not as if Xavi is making up the numbers or simply in the side to gain experience, he's started nine of his 11 games for the Netherlands and is already a key member of Ronald Koeman's side.

Watch: Xavi's best dribbles

Given his performances for Leipzig, it's little wonder. Xavi has been sensational for his temporary employers, racking up seven goals and nine assists in the Bundesliga. A pair of both assists and goals in the Champions League also helped Die Roten Bullen reach the last-16, where they came up just short against record European champions Real Madrid.

Matthijs de Ligt

It's incredible to think De Ligt is still just 24. He is already a champion of Holland, Italy and Germany, has 43 international caps to his name and has captained his country. It seems a given that he will eventually wear the armband permanently once Virgil van Dijk steps aside and, with or without it, he is a natural leader on the pitch. At Bayern, it has taken a little while for De Ligt to display his best qualities consistently but he's arguably, right now, playing his best football since joining the club.

Watch: The best of Matthijs de Ligt in the Bundesliga

De Ligt has fought off fierce competition from Dayot Upamecano and Minjae Kim to be the preferred partner alongside surprise winter-signing-sensation Eric Dier. Having now appeared to have established himself in the side, De Ligt has cut a far more confident figure, something that can only bode well for Koeman.

Wout Weghorst

The elder statesmen of the group, Weghorst returned to the Bundesliga this summer after sealing a loan deal with Hoffenheim. That brought him back to the country he previously dominated between 2018 and 2022. During that time, Weghorst scored 70 times in 144 appearances for Wolfsburg, finding the back of the net every other game while with the Wolves.

Watch: The best of Weghorst at Wolfsburg

It was in 2018 that Weghorst made his national team debut and, six years on, the 31-year-old is enjoying his best international form. He has scored in three of his last six games for the Netherlands and is the focal point of Koeman's attack. Domestically, Weghorst will have hoped for a better return than five goals in 21 games this season but there is every chance that strong performances during the international break could have a positive impact on his club duties.