Player Watch: The Backline
A look at the Dutch defensive options.
Wilfred Bouma- Strong and quick Aston Villa left back. Bouma can play at left back aswell as the centre. Bouma is a technically refined defender who is known for his hard working nature, defensive positioning and tackling ability. The 29-year old has started every Premiership game for Aston Villa this season and is one of the contenders for player of the season.
Tim De Cler- Plays as a left back for Feyenoord. He has been a constant member of the Dutch national team since Marco Van Basten took charge. The 29-year old has played for Ajax, AZ Alkmaar and current employers Feyenoord, where he has picked up valuable experience. Has been the first choice left back for Van Basten but after the impressive season Bouma has had may put an end to that.
Johnny Heitinga- 24-year old Heitinga can play at right back, defensive midfield role and his preferred role at centre defence. He has recently signed a five-year contract with Atlético Madrid moving from Ajax for a reported €10million. Even though he is only 24 years of age he has already played 145 games for Ajax and 35 for the national team.
Joris Mathijsen- 28-year old central defender currently plays for Hamburg SV where he is a key figure in their defence. Hamburg SV had one of the best defensive records this season and the defensive qualities of Mathijsen was a major contribution to that achievement.
Mario Melchiot- 31-year old Wigan captain has made a unexpected return to the international scene after an impressive season for the Latics. The experienced right back made 130 caps for Chelsea can also play in the centre of the defence.
Andre Ooijer- 33-year old currently plays for Blackburn Rovers where he has been a stand in captain in the absence on Nelsen. Found chances at Blackburn hard to come by in recent times and may be on his way out of Ewood Park. The experienced Central Defender played 192 games for PSV before his move to Blackburn has also played 35 games for the national side.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst- the 33-year old currently plays for Feyenoord. He can play as a left-back, left-wingback, central midfielder, defensive midfielder and left winger. He is best known for his passing and free kicks. The experienced campaigner has played over 100 games for both Feyenoord and Barcelona and has 76 international caps to his name.
The Dutch backline is arguably the weakest part of the team, however this is only due to the offensive quality of the side being so high. Something for you to look forward to reading about!
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