Reports suggest Liverpool scouts have been keeping tabs on Feyenoord captain Stefan de Vrij, with manager Brendan Rodgers eying De Vrij as a potential replacement for Jamie Carragher, who retires at the end over this season.
De Vrij is a highly rated Dutch defender who plies his trade with Feyenoord. He is considered as one of the best defensive talents in Dutch football and at only 21-years-old, took over the captain’s armband from Ron Vlaar, who left for Aston Villa, at the start of the season. Since then, he has been nothing short of a revelation, putting in strong and dominant displays from the back.
Stefan de Vrij joined Feyenoord at the age of 10, coming through the ranks in Feyenoord’s youth academy. On the 24th of September 2009, he made his debut against Harkemase Boys in the Dutch Cup, while the defender made his league debut was on the 6th of December against FC Groningen in the same year. Since then, he has played in 98 Eredivisie games and on August 15th last year, he made his official debut for the national team.
The Dutch international is quick and physical in defending. He’s tall, strong in the air and composed on the ball and he can push up from defence and play the ball, while maintaining a high line. Furthermore, his reading of the game is impressive for a defender. While De Vrij prefers to play centre-back himself, he admits he can also play at right-back as he has done couple of times for Feyenoord. He said himself: “I prefer playing as a centre-back back, everybody knows that. But when I was younger, I played two or three seasons as a right back. It is a fun position”.
Stefan de Vrij’s current contract expires in the summer of 2014. He has stalled talks over a possible renewal until the end of this season. If Feyenoord are not able to reach an agreement with the young defender, it’s likely he will be sold this summer.
The Netherlands have had a lack of good defenders in the past few years, but the likes of Stefan de Vrij and Bruno Martins Indi have given the Dutch some hope back. De Vrij is a very promising young prospect. His style of defending is one for the future: tough on the man and in the air but also particularly gifted technically, which aids in his ability to play the ball out of defence and matches the Liverpool gameplan under Rodgers.