Friday, September 29, 2023

Barcelona Have Set Their Sights On This Eredivisie Midfielder: What Will He Add To Xavi’s Team?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, La Gazzetta dello Sport mentioned that Barcelona have set their sights on AZ Alkmaar midfielder Tijjani Reijnders this summer. It has been claimed that the Catalan club are eyeing a move to secure the services of the Dutch midfield ace in this off-season.

Reijnders’ Decent Form In The Eredivisie

Reijnders enjoyed an excellent campaign at the Dutch club after putting in several influential displays for them at the centre of the park. The Dutch sensation scored seven goals and picked up 12 assists in 54 matches for AZ Alkmaar last season across all competitions.

The 24-year-old was a positive influence at both ends of the field based on his average of 1.1 tackles, 1.6 interceptions, 0.8 clearances, 2.1 shots, 1.8 key passes and 1.5 dribbles per game in the Dutch Eredivisie. He was even accurate when distributing possession from midfield after completing 88.8% of his attempted passes in the Dutch top tier (stats via whoscored).

His current deal at Alkmaar will run out in the summer of 2027. Thus, Barca will find it difficult to snap him in this ongoing transfer window.

Tijjani Reijnders
AZ Alkmaar’s Dutch midfielder Tijjani Reijnders celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the UEFA Europa Conference League semi-final first leg football match between West Ham United and AZ Alkmaar at the London Stadium in east London on May 11, 2023. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will Reijnders Add To Barcelona Head Coach Xavi’s Side?

Reijnders is a solid tackler of the ball and can time his challenges well to secure the ball back for his team on the defensive third of the pitch. He usually clears the danger when needed and has also got the vision to create some decent plays for his teammates in the final third.

Reijnders mainly functions as a box-to-box midfielder but can also fill in as an attacking midfielder or as a defensive midfielder if asked to do so.

The Dutch talent is a good dribbler with the ball as well and can strike the ball with power from long range. He has done well to score and create his fair share of goals in the Eredivisie last season.

Hence, we can expect Reijnders to add more goals and creativity to Barcelona boss Xavi’s midfield department. He might even serve as a worthy replacement for Sergio Busquets at the Nou Camp.

At 24, Reijnders has his best years ahead of him which makes him a great option for the Catalan club to consider before the start of the new campaign.

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