playerfocus

Everyone should be looking at Teun Koopmeiners

If you're a club in Europe's top five leagues, and you're not interested in Teun Koopmeiners, then one of two things must be true: (1) you can't afford him, or (2) you already have a great DM, and maybe a couple of great CBs as well. Because otherwise, Koopmeiners can almost certainly help you.

Let's start with the basics. He's a smarterscout young prospect, which means our exclusive algorithm has flagged him as a player destined for bigger things. And he's already a high performer by a Premier League standard at DM – he's an above average defender in both quality and quantity, and his ball retention is excellent.

He's got skills, too. He's probably a better tackler than two thirds of Premier League DMs, and he's also outstanding in the air on dead balls. In terms of style, Koopmeiners offers a great mix of short and long passes, and can also take the ball forward himself.

Interestingly, among Premier League players, the closest match to his style at DM this season is Granit Xhaka in 2016-17, when he still appeared to have the goodwill of Arsenal supporters. An even closer match is Marc Roca, the highly rated 23-year-old at Espanyol. But Roca doesn't have the defending or the ball retention to match Koopmeiners.

The main weak spot in Koopmeiners's game is his dribbling – he likes to take the ball forward but is well below average for the Premier League in ground duels in possession. So if he moves to a top five league, chances are he'll rely more on his passing acumen.

And it's also important to note that he's not a box-to-box player. He's useful at bringing the ball out of the back and is most active just on either side of the midfield line, occasionally straying to his left flank but rarely to the right. He's not a huge attacking force, though, so a club with a marauding CB who occupies that space on the right might be the best fit – now who could that be?

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[Photo: FCUpdate.nl]

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