Newcastle make a smart move for Feyenoord’s Daryl Janmaat

After three successful years with a group of talented young players, Feyenoord’s fantastic and thrilling squad is being torn apart at an incredible speed.

For some time, it has been inevitable. Dutch teams are always prepared to bid farewell to their most talented players as they depart to ply their trade on the big stage in a better league and for more money. There remains a bit of sadness, about it though, as a whole host of young stars depart an excellent team.

Graziano Pelle has already joined Southampton, Bruno Martins Indi is set to move to Porto, while Lazio are looking to purchase Stefan de Vrij, with Manchester United also linked to him, and Jordy Clasie is expected to have played his last game in the iconic red and white jersey. While the speculation builds around the latter two, there is one more key player who has just about secured his move to another top league in Europe.

As he prepares to undergo a medical at Newcastle United, Daryl Janmaat will become the second Eredivisie player to join the Tyneside club, following in the footsteps of former Ajax captain Siem de Jong.

At a reported fee of €6 million, Newcastle have picked up a bargain for a right-back who is a more complete full-back than we are used to seeing in European football at the moment. Although not a blistering and extremely quick player, the 24-year-old has decent pace and is good going forward, operating as a right-back in a 4-3-3 and latterly as a wing-back when coach Ronald Koeman switched to a 5-3-2 during the season. The Netherlands international is comfortable on the ball, making sensible passes as the Rotterdam giants build up from the back and attack their opponents. Janmaat built a good understanding with winger Ruben Schaken and was keen to charge forward, take on the opposing full-back and send in a cross towards star striker Pelle and attacking midfielder Lex Immers, as he added five assists to the two goals he scored last season. As well as staying wide, he can cut in and look to play short intricate passes to speed up and centralise attacks. The Leidschendam-born player is also strong defensively.  He is a consistently good and strong tackler who reads the game well, making 45 interceptions, and is quite strong in the air, too.

Janmaat started each of Oranje’s group stage games at the World Cup in Brazil, but was dropped heading into the second round for Paul Verhaegh before Dirk Kuyt eventually took up the right back slot. The reason behind coach Louis van Gaal’s decision was to help the team build attacks and move forward in games they felt they could dominate. Janmaat’s defensive stability wasn’t required as much in a counter-attacking system with three solid centre-backs. Thus, for the games against Costa Rica, Argentina and Brazil, Van Gaal opted to use Dirk Kuyt in that position, with the attacker carrying the team’s attacks on from further up the field than Janmaat would.

In the Premier League, though, where full-backs are not given the same freedom to roam forward and their defensive stability remains a key aspect of their game, Janmaat will fit in well and will prove to be a vital acquisition as a replacement for the seemingly departing Mathieu Debuchy.

After two years of good service at Feyenoord and at the age of 24, it is a good time for Janmaat to move on. The player started his career as a youth player at the Eredivisie giants but couldn’t break into the first team and so left to join ADO Den Haag. After one season, he moved to Heerenveen, signing a four year contract. He struggled with injury initially but went on to become a key player for the club as they went on to challenge the league giants for the title until the final weeks. As his contract came to an end, he left to return to Rotterdam for Ronald Koeman’s side who had just finished runners-up to Ajax in the league.

After third and second place finishes in the next two years, an influx of players are set to leave and Newcastle are capitalising on the financial weaknesses of Feyenoord by snatching him for such a small fee. The Dutch side perhaps could have held out for more from the English club, but there is every chance technical director Martin van Geel will have inserted a clause which will ensure the Pride of the South get a healthy percentage of any sell on fee.

Following the sensible purchase of Siem de Jong from Ajax, Newcastle have made another great choice as they look to build a solid team for next season in the Premier League.

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