After impressing for AZ Alkmaar last season, versatile defender Derrick Luckassen heads into the new campaign looking to continue his development.

  • By Michael Bell
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The Amsterdam-born defender moved from local side AFC to AZ at a young age and graduated through the youth levels at in Alkmaar, eventually captaining the U19 side during the 2013/14 campaign. The following season he was handed his Eredivisie debut in a 3-1 win over Dordrecht, before going on to make 12 more first team appearances and score his first Eredivisie goal in a win over ADO Den Haag.

Following his first Eredivisie campaign, Luckassen became a key member of AZ’s squad last season, playing in a number of positions as the club finished fourth in the Eredivisie and qualifed for Europe. Luckassen also became a regular for Netherlands U21’s, earning eight caps.

This summer Luckassen has been linked with a move away from the AFAS Stadion, with PSV reportedly interested, but the youngster is still part of John van den Brom’s squad and will start the season in Alkmaar.

Style of play

Luckassen is a big and powerful centre-back, who can also move into the full back position. Strong on the ball, in the air and in the tackle, Luckassen is a great athlete who has all the attributes to be a top centre halve. However, the 21-year-old needs to work on his discipline and concentration with Luckassen shown two red cards last season.

What to expect from Luckassen this season?

Luckassen will be looking to make a big impression in both the Eredivisie and Europa League with a move to a bigger club clearly in his mind. Working on his discipline and final product in the last third will make him one of the strongest centre-backs in the league, and cement his position in the Netherlands U21 squad.

The season couldn’t have got off to a better start for the youngster, who netted the only goal in the Europa League qualifying first leg against Giannina.

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