Monday, 3 June 2013


Who is he? Where does he play?

The Netherlands will be hugely excited by the emergence of Feyenoord's 21 year old centre-half. The heady days of Jaap Stam and Ruud Kroll have been replaced by the mediocre times of Joris Mathijsen and Johnny Heitinga. But now, brace yourselves, because it's the time of the solid, imposing De Vrij.

So what does he offer at the back?

A remarkable positional sense that allows for a high interception rate and an impressive ability for man-marking such is his fine reading of the game. His intelligence has been the defining feature behind his quick rise through the Feyenoord youth set-up, being allowed to skip the under-16s before representing the under-17s immediately. Since emerging in the full-team in 2009, De Vrij is now club captain after Ron Vlaar departed for Aston Villa.

One for the future then?

Very much so, and now. Not only does De Vrij cut an extremely resolute and firm figure at the back, his 6ft 2 inch frame allowing him to be a major force in the air, but he is also adept at playing the ball out from the back, like all good Dutch centre-halves are expected to do. He can block, tackle, pass the ball effectively short and long and he has already represented Feyenoord 116 times, so he has experience to compliment his footballing qualities.

Almost the perfect-centre half then?

Luis Van Gaal certainly seems to think so, having called the centre-half up to the provisional Netherlands squad for last year's European Championship. After missing the cut, De Vrij returned to play in a friendly against Belgium before installing himself as the first choice centre-back in Van Gaal's current set-up. He also won the Thorbecke Lyceum Sports Talent award back in 2009, which we won't explain, we'll just let you read about it.

Feyenoord finished 3rd didn't they? Will he be off?

With Everton and Liverpool both interested, you probably would think so and a move did seem likely to happen before the 21 year old showed a decent sense of logic by signing a new deal with Feyenoord, allowing him another year in the familiar setting of the EreDivisie before next summer's World Cup. If his form continues, he will be in Brazil. Keep an eye out for this talented, complete centre-half.

If you can't wait until then, watch this video.

No comments:

Post a Comment