Defender | PSV | Netherlands
When filing reviews for 100 top young talents, one fairly depressing fact always jumps out: anyone over the age of 20 already feels as though they’re not a kid anymore and when they get to 22 you start to wonder if they’re not already reaching their peak.
That, of course, is nonsense. Plainly there are plenty of ‘late bloomers’ in the footballing world, and what sort of a world would consider anyone ‘old’ at 22.
Denzel Dumfries is a 22-year-old full-back and in the summer joined his third club - in by far his biggest move - to Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven.
An attacking full-back, his style is very much in vogue these days and a step up will give him plenty of chance to prove his athleticism and technique - with less defending to worry about he should be able to attack with a bit of freedom.
2018 Has Been…
A chance for more incremental growth. Having started off with Sparta Rotterdam - where he won the Dutch second tier in 2016 - his next step was to Eredivisie stalwarts and noted cultivators of talent Heerenveen.
The summer of 2018 saw Dumfries join the league champions and get a taste of Champions league football as well as another taste of international football.
With links to Aruba, the PSV man played for the affiliate in two friendlies nation back in 2014, but was still eligible for a call-up from the Netherlands to play for the new-look Oranje side managed by Ronald Koeman who have starred in 2018, making it to the semi-finals of the Nations League.
Establishing himself as the best right-back in Dutch football would be a start, making that spot in the national team his own is a possibility if he can continue his incremental growth.
He has plenty of the right attributes for a modern full-back and his international recognition might stand him in good stead in the future, especially if a club in the bigger leagues comes calling - though perhaps not one of the very biggest clubs.