Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Who is he? Where does he play?

After Ajax lost Gregory Van Der Wiel to rich-boys in September, Frank De Boer may have been disappointed to lose his energetic right-back after he played such a vital role in his capture of the EreDivisie title last year. But no, De Boer was safe ratifying the sale as he had 21 year old Van Rhijn, a younger, similar version to Van Der Wiel ready to take the reigns at the Ajax right-back spot. 

Similar to VDW, take it he gets forward a lot?

A superb engine allows him to bomb up and down the right-flank for virtually the full 90 minutes, fitting in perfectly with De Boer's Barcelona-lite vision that relies on full-backs flying forward on the overlap to provide width. Not a bad crosser either, he caused havoc with dangerous balls from the right in recent Champions League meetings with Manchester City.

All very well, but can he defend?

Ajax have struggled in their defence of the Dutch championship this year, shipping 14 goals in eleven games as they sit in a mediocre fifth place, but Van Rhijn's reputation hasn't suffered with some solid performances both in the league and the Champions League. Winner of Ajax's talent of the year for 2011/2012, even Louis Van Gaal has noticed the rise of RDV, allowing him to displace his old mate VDW as first-choice right back for the Dutch national team.

Will he leave.. like VD...

Enough of the Van Der Wiel comparisons please, Van Rhijn is a separate entity (obviously) and having that spectre over him would not help his development which is already being picked up on by the "experts" (Gary Neville) and co. his excellent, roaming performances against City have helped and a bright future awaits under a manager that suits his game of right-sided traction engine perfectly.

Keep an eye out for Van Rhijn.....

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