Vito van Crooij has been a key member of VVV Venlo’s squad for the past two years and the talented winger will finally get his chance to impress in the Eredivisie this season.

  • By Michael Bell
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After coming through the VVV Academy, van Crooij, who’s older brother is also a goalkeeper at the club, made his first team debut at the age of 18 as a substitute in a 2-0 defeat to Den Bosch at the start of the 2014/15 campaign. He quickly became a permanent fixture in the Eerste Divisie and scored his first league goal in a 1-0 win over Almere City in February. His first campaign finished with four goals as VVV just missed out on promotion through the playoffs.

The following campaign, Van Crooij was on fire, netting 13 league goals and contributing eight assists but VVV once again missed out on promotion through the playoffs after finishing second in the league. The forward just missed out on talent of the year, finishing second in the running for the award behind Gyliano van Velzen.

A move to the Eredivisie was expected the following summer but Van Crooij remained in Venlo and he played a major role as the club finally sealed promotion, netting fourteen times as VVV stormed to the championship. Van Crooij’s impressive showings have seen him capped for Netherlands at U21 level.

Style of play

A direct and tricky forward, Van Crooij can be deployed on either wing and has been used through the middle on occasions. He is two-footed, pacey and his technique on the ball is excellent. A good finisher and provider of assists, he will be a constant threat to Eredivisie defences.

What to expect from Van Crooij this season

Van Crooij has been waiting patiently for his chance to impress in the Eredivisie and at 21 will be eager to prove he can cut it at the top level. He will be one of VVV’s top threats during the season and if he can continue his impressive goalscoring record then he will play a major role in them avoiding relegation. Van Crooij will also be aiming for a Netherlands U21 recall.

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