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Is Calvin Stengs a better version of your club's star player?

If there's one name that's been on the lips of scouts who circulate in the Netherlands for years, it's that of Calvin Stengs. The 21-year-old smarterscout young prospect has been at AZ Alkmaar for almost 11 years, and last season he was already a regular in the senior side. But this term, Stengs has really come into his own, with five goals and eight assists already. And guess what – he's probably better than what you have.

Stengs has made steady progress this season versus last season's numbers, and he's been even more dangerous in attack when playing in the Europa League. We've decided to offer his stats at a Champions League standard, since any number of top clubs in that competition might avail themselves of his services:

At RW in the Eredivisie, Stengs already has attacking output and skill in ground duels that are getting close to average, and his ball retention has improved even more. He's a very good finisher in open play, too. And in the Europa League, he's been even more effective, mainly because he's been involved in a greater share of Alkmaar's most important possessions and has taken slightly better shots, too. You can see the difference in his touches in these smartermaps:

Stengs's touches also look less predictable in the Europa League, where he's had a bigger mix of actions and even strayed to the left side on occasion. Indeed, he sometimes lines up as a CAM/SS, and his attacking output has been rated the same there in the Eredivisie:

The main differences at CAM/SS are lower ball retention and less aggressive defending. For us, that could make RW a better position for Stengs, as aggressive defenders are always useful on the wings. He's not an exceptional tackler, though, and his overall defending could also stand to improve.

In terms of overall style at RW, here are the players from Europe's top five leagues (plus the Champions League) who have had the most similar styles to Stengs's. Actually, in the top 200 matches from our database, there's only one player:

Is Stengs a Bernardo Silva clone, then? A comparison with the Portuguese international can be quite instructive:

Stengs gets into the box to receive more than Silva, but he may be more likely to pass when he does – and is also more likely to pass into the box. He's not quite as good in ground duels, but he's a better finisher. His attacking output and ball retention still have a way to go to match Silva, too. But keep in mind that when Silva was Steng's age, back at Monaco in 2016-17, he had trouble getting a game, and his attacking output was lower. Even at Manchester City in 2017-18, Silva could only muster at attacking output rating of 23 – again at a Champions League standard – over 1,324' at RW. So Stengs may be on a higher trajectory!

Shifting to CAM/SS, here are the players from the same leagues with the closest matches to Stengs for style:

These are some impressive names indeed, and here's a comparison with Mason Mount and Dele Alli:

The similarities with Mount are pretty startling, and it's a pretty good match with Alli as well... right down to the low ball retention. Stengs is better on the ball and a better finisher with his feet than Alli, too. Mount looks superior in several categories, though, and is the same age as Stengs. Also, we shouldn't forget that Alli has had several seasons of above average attacking output for Spurs.

Not surprisingly, Stengs may have to develop more to match Silva, Mount, and Alli. But if he can replicate his form from the Europa League in a somewhat tougher competition, he'll easily put himself on the same level as these stars. Which one would you rather have in your squad?

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