After deciding to remain with Feyenoord this season, Tonny Vilhena is aiming to inspire the clubs title challenge.

  • By Chaka Simbeye
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Tonny Vilhena has been the prince and pauper of Rotterdam while for the last two years as for at least two weeks of this summer, many believed that his future lied elsewhere before he shockingly signed a new contract. In many ways it was the perfect soul-searching experience as many of his suitors wanted him as he was a talent available on a free but were not willing to put real money behind their interest as they were not sure what commodity they were investing in. Giovani Van Bronchorst, who has been treated as a kid in a candy store in his first excursion into management, also has not been sure what sort of team is unfolding before his eyes but knows definitively that Vilhena should be at the heart of it. Both parties have this season to really prove themselves domestically and across the continent as Vilhena faces a two year race against time to have a great season while Feyenoord face a race against time to sell him for the price he is worth.

Playing style

A pint sized Yaya Toure with a Carlos Valderama styled afro, an Abel Xavier styled goatee possessing a larger battery life but less panache. Vilhena opened last season with a goal but had to wait before he could truly prove himself as it was well worth the wait, a brilliant free-kick against NEC Nijmegen, a wonderful long-range strike against AZ Alkmaar and some intense battles against Riechedly Bazoer in Der Klassieker. The Varkenoord nurtured talent is a box-to-box midfielder with a daring passing style and a habit of pulling of the unbelievable which has made him a set-piece specialist. He drives at the opposition with purpose and intent before being able to slice through a defensive line with magnificently weighted through balls. He does not shirk a challenge, is defensively reliable, possesses boundless energy while having a penchant of scoring fine goals as he should be the hallmark of Van Bronchorst’s team this season. Last season he played his way into the Dutch National Team while this season, he has tied down a starting position and will have the platform to exhibit his quality week-in and week-out.

What does the future hold for Vilhena?

Vilhena’s game certainly needs some polishing in order to truly make his mark at clubs like Inter Milan while he needs to produce more output consistently. The next year or so could be the most important in his career as he begins to pave a path that could lead to playing at the highest level or continuing where he is now. The dark days of sitting on the bench in Fred Rutten’s season-long tenure in Rotterdam are far behind him as all he needs is consistency. Feyenoord are in the Europa League as Van Bronchorst and Van Geel have brought together one of the strongest squads in recent memory and Vilhena is at the heart of it all, he will need more bits of brilliance to get where he hopes to be.

Chaka Simbeye (69 Posts)