After breaking into the Feyenoord first-team last season, the hugely talented Tyrell Malacia is hoping to challenge Calvin Verdonk to be the club’s first-choice left-back.

  • By Michael Bell
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A product of the Feyenoord academy, Malacia has been highly rated from a young age and was tied down to his first professional contract as a 16-year-old in 2015. A year later, during the 2016/17 winter break, Malacia was called up to the first team squad for a training camp and impressed coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

He didn’t make his first-team debut during the title-winning campaign, but last season after impressing for the U19’s during the UEFA Youth League, he started the Champions League tie with Napoli. Malacia didn’t look out of place against the Italian giants and starred in the 2-1 victory.

He went on to start nine of the next eleven Eredivisie matches before losing his place to the fit-again Ridgeciano Haps, However, Malacia didn’t drop back down to the U19 squad and is now a full-time member of the first-team.

Style of Play

Malacia is an exceptionally talented, modern left-back, who is not only strong defensively but also loves to go forward.

Blessed with explosive pace and good dribbling ability, Malacia can get himself out of tight situations and set Feyenoord on attacks, while he is also tenacious and strong on the ball despite his lack of height.

Malacia has a strong all-round game, but the area he may look to improve is his crossing ability and decision making in the final third. The 18-year-old is yet to provide a single assist in 14 games for the first team.

What to expect from Malacia this season

With Haps set to miss several months of the season, Malacia has a big chance to cement himself as the number one left-back at Feyenoord. However, Giovanni van Bronckorst has confirmed that Verdonk will be first choice going into the new campaign.

It will be up to Malacia to impress during training and convince the Feyenoord boss that he is the better option until Haps returns. He will get plenty of chances to do so from the bench or in the cup competitions with Feyenoord battling on three fronts this season.

Michael Bell (59 Posts)