Justin Bijlow is Feyenoord’s new number one and the goalkeeper’s reputation is already soaring after a starring role during their Johan Cruijff Schaal win over PSV Eindhoven. 

  • By Chaka Simbeye
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Born in Rotterdam, Bijlow was a Feyenoord fan as a youngster and joined the club’s academy in 2006, since making a name for himself in various youth teams for club and country.

The now 20-year-old was part of the Netherlands U19 squad that went to the semi-finals in last year’s UEFA Under 19 Championship before being promoted to the U21’s and the Feyenoord first team.

He made his first-team debut last year in a home match to FC Twente and went on to make another three appearances before the end of the campaign. He was expected to go into the new campaign as back-up to Brad Jones once again but the veteran decided to leave for Al Nassr and Giovanni van Bronckhorst announced Bijlow as the club’s new number one.

The choice has already paid off for Feyenoord as Bijlow put in a man of the match appearance against PSV in the Johan Cruijff Schaal. He not only made several stops during the ninety minutes but then stopped two penalties in the shootout to seal the club’s first silverware of the season.

Playing Style

Bjlow is the modern-day goalkeeper as he is adept at playing with the ball at his feet to start passing sequences as he has shown with Jong Oranje and the Oranje U19s. In the UEFA Under 19 Championship, he also made some jaw-dropping saves behind a defence which were prone to losing their focus. He also made important saves in one-on-one situations and saves from short range. He saved a penalty in a 3-2 Feyenoord win against Heerenveen when the scores were level at 2-2 as he is well prepared to be the team’s starting goalkeeper at his tender age.

What to expect from Bijlow this season

Giovanni Van Bronchorst has not given many youth products outside of Tyrell Malacia and Dylan Vente lasting opportunities with the first team, so the Head Coach trusting Bijlow with the role is a feat within itself. Expectations should be measured with Bijlow but his performance in the Dutch Super cup has exploded the goalkeeper’s reputation in the Dutch press.

Bijlow will be aiming to continue his development in his first full Eredivisie campaign, while also helping the Dutch U21’s in their bid to reach the European Championships.

Bijlow is certainly earmarked as the future starting goalkeeper of the Dutch National team but will need to gain both good and bad experiences at club level before that vision manifests in real life.

Chaka Simbeye (69 Posts)