21 Defender Feyernoord Netherlands
Feyenoord’s latest defending prospect is now into his second season as a first team regular and continues to look impressive. Strong, mature and really, really good on the ball, think of him as a light-on-its-feet brick wall that could nutmeg you at any moment and you’re somewhere near.
We really hate to compare but there are dashes of so many really good defenders it’s almost impossible to watch him play and not be reminded of someone. He feels like a thoroughly modern footballer and we approve.
2015 has been…
…impressive, clear learning and solid progress.
It’s sometimes hard for defenders to stand out on this list because at a young age they have to learn quicker than anyone else. Experience is priceless and at 21, Kongolo already looks like he’s played 500-odd games. His maturity is astounding and his discipline excellent, he really can look like an old head on young shoulders at times and we would suggest this is a future captain, leader, legend somewhere.
He’s imposing, quick and must be an absolute nightmare to play against. His recovery pace alone makes him difficult to get round but positionally he, to quote a cliché, just gets it. There’s a calmness to everything he does, he often looks like a clean shorts defender but he’s not afraid of the dirty work and there’s something quite elegant about seeing him slide into a challenge. This is a very impressive young man and this season has started in the manner of last, a big future ahead we’d wager.
Obviously there are several clubs described as “preparing” bids in that manner that makes you think of war rooms and blueprints. That’s really no surprise as this is an incredibly useful young footballer who isn’t going to cost you the earth. We don’t think anything will happen in January but this summer he may well be snapped up by someone. The manager who gave him his club debut, Ronald Koeman, remains a huge fan and we could see that happening down on the south coast, Manchesters City and United are both watching but in truth that may be a step too far for the moment.
He already has two international caps and more will come, he’s a squad regular and as the Netherlands manage their transition from old guard to new generation he will play his part. All the right people are saying all the right things and we know exactly what they mean. Sometimes you see a young player and you just know they have that little something extra that stops them ever feeling like a risk. It’s not always raw talent, sometimes it’s their attitude that makes you certain they’re just going to keep learning. Happily, this is a young man with both. Wherever his future lies, we’re sure he’s going to be absolutely fine.
C+ Clear and impressive progress, wise beyond his tender years, we’re impressed
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