He may only be 17, but Dogucan Haspolat is expected to star for Excelsior this season.

  • By Michael Bell
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Haspolat, who was born in the Netherlands but has Turkish descent, has been with Excelsior since joining the club at the age of five. Last summer, Excelsior were short of midfielders, which led to Haspolat getting his chance to train with the first team during pre-season and he made a good impression on coach Mitchell van der Gaag. He was handed his debut in the first team against Feyenoord four weeks into the season, making him the first player born after 2000 to feature in the Eredivisie.

He featured on the bench for most of the campaign, but only got action for the u23 and U19 squads. However, he has featured heavily during pre-season, scoring in the win over RKC and is expected to be a regular starter in the upcoming season.

Haspolat could feature for the Turkish national team, but currently, has 17 caps for Netherlands U17’s and featured in the recent European Championships, where Oranje reached the quarter finals before going out to Germany.

Style of play

Haspolat is a versatile midfielder, who can play as a number ten but is more suited to a box-to-box role. He has good technique on the ball and likes to dribble forward at any opportunity. He is physically strong despite his age and can be hard to shrug off the ball when he drives forward.

What to expect from Haspolat this season

After making his debut at the age of 16 last season, Haspolat will have been disappointed not to have featured more in the Eredivisie, but this is expected to be his breakthrough year. Excelsior’s academy isn’t known for producing many major talents, but with Haspolat they have a gem, who could play a crucial role as the club looks once again to maintain their Eredivisie status.

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