In a market where monstrous fees are paid for defenders perhaps signing Stefan de Vrij for free could be regarded one of the biggest steals in this transfer window. Recognised as one of the best centre backs in Italy, de Vrij is a ball playing centre back, coupled with a tremendous goal scoring ability. He is a strong, versatile, tenacious, hardworking and resilient defender.
Name: Stefan de Vrij
Position: Defender (Centre back)
Appearances (Subs): 47 (0)
Key Passes: 5
Pass Success: 91.4%
Stefan de Vrij has an immense technical ability and physical presence, great composure on the ball, range of passing, vision and magnificent at goal bound anticipations. He is unbeatable in aerial duels and a threat during attacking set pieces.
Perhaps the only weakness he has on the pitch is acceleration. Sometimes he is just not quick enough. However the other good qualities he possesses shields his downsides, making it almost irrelevant and unnoticeable. He is also injury prone and has suffered lengthy spells on the sidelines over the years
How He Fits In Spalletti’s Tactics:
Stefan de Vrij would suit in perfectly into Spalletti’s proposed three man defence. He excelled well in this system with Lazio last season and also with Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup. He mostly plays in the middle of the back three but can still play on left or right side due to his versatility. He could be charged with man marking or ceasing of those last gasp attacks. In a four man defence, de Vrij could pair with either Skriniar or Miranda and he is capable of forming a formidable partnership with either of them.
What To Expect:
His tackles are always neat and tidy like the fights of Jason Statham in Transporter. He likes hitting long balls to the wingers or striker. He is calm and organised and a real leader in the back line. de Vrij is also a free scoring defender with 6 goals in the last Serie A campaign. Skriniar got four goals; this makes their combination a potential football Bonnie & Clyde partnership.