Silky smooth dribbles, good speed, a good eye for a cheeky pass and a deadly intent on firing a fierce shot at almost any glimpse of the goal from any range, all accurately describes the attributes of current AZ Alkmaar right winger, Steven Berghuis.

  • By Rion Rodgers

berghuis a

In the summer of 2011 I watched a fair amount of FC Twente’s pre-season campaign and I was decidedly impressed with the slick movements, clean dribbles and keen eye for a long-ranged punt at goal, displayed by then teenage winger, Steven Berghuis.

I first got a good glimpse of Berghuis when FC Twente took on DSV ’60 and it was clear to me that the kid had great potential. He followed up the good exhibition of his skills in the DSV ’60 game with a decent performance against Turkish giant, Fenerbahce a few days later. Berghuis played in the majority of the friendly games that Twente played during that summer and I was convinced that he had the potential to become at least a decent Eredivisie player.

The 2011-2012 season began with Steven starting for FC Twente in the Johan Cruijff Shield game against Ajax, where he did moderately well, despite the fact that he was red carded. Steven started his team’s first Eredivisie league game against NAC Breda and showed glimpses of his silky skills on the flank. In September 2011 he scored four goals in a Dutch Cup game which should have helped with cementing his place in the FC Twente starting eleven. However, by January 2012 Steven was loaned out to VVV-Venlo by Twente to gain more first team experience. Despite having a decent season on loan, Steven was not kept by FC Twente, but rather he left for AZ Alkmaar in the summer of 2012.

His first season in Alkmaar was not very successful as he struggled to gain a place in the starting eleven and thus saw many of his appearances made as a substitute. However, the following season saw him gaining more playing time and started showings bits of his fleet footedness and sharp shooter mentality. He finished that season with eight league goals and 6 assists.

Steven began the current season in a devastating form, scoring three goals in his first three games. Arguably, his performances during those earlier days of the season were almost on par with that of the PSV Eindhoven start, Memphis Depay. But fate would not have dealt Berghuis with too much room to expand on his remarkable start to the season, so he got a nasty injury on August 30, 2014, which kept him out of action until early December 2014. During this period of absence, Steven missed more than nine league games. It might be controversial to say that Steven could have possibly kept on the trail of Memphis Depay in the goal scoring department and even greatly surpassed him in the assist area, if he did not receive this injury at the time when he was on fire for AZ Alkmaar. Upon his return to the team in December it took a few games for him to regain some semblance of his early season form and eventually returned to goal scoring in Feb 2015.

Currently, at the end of Eredivisie match day 32, Berghuis has a record of nine goals and four assists, having played a total of twenty games. This is a good record for a right winger playing for the under-performing AZ Alkmaar. However, I believe that if he stays fit next season we could see this very skilful player go very close to achieving the kind of performances and goal scoring records that Memphis Depay exhibited this season. I would even dear say that I believe that he could become the top provider of assists in the Eredivisie.

I am firmly confident that Steven Berghuis is one of those Eredivisie wingers with the requisite skills to make it into the Oranje and eventually take the step to a bigger European league in the near future. He might not be commanding the headlines that Nemanja Gudelj, Georginio Wijnaldum or Memphis Depay currently enjoys, but in the near future the spotlight could be firmly enticed by Steven Berghuis.

Rion Rodgers (4 Posts)