Rick Karsdorp hasn’t looked back since breaking into the Feyenoord first team in 2014 and the young right back will look to play a pivotal role as the Rotterdam club look to close the gap to PSV and Ajax.

  • By Michael Bell
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Karsdorp started his career with Feyenoord as a goalscoring attacking midfielder and signed his first professional in Rotterdam as a 19-year-old with the view to breaking into the first team as a number ten. However, during the 2014-15 season then boss Fred Rutten was short of a right back and decided to try out Karsdorp in the position and handed him his first-team debut against Utrecht in a 2-1 defeat.

The youngster excelled in his unfamiliar position and started all 12 of Feyenoord’s final games of the 2014/15 campaign and headed into last season as an undoubted starter under new boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst. Feyenoord’s season was up and down but Karsdorp impressed with ten assists in 29 games and was named in a Netherlands squad in March for the friendlies with France and England, but the 21-year-old didn’t earn his first cap.

During this summer Karsdorp has been heavily linked with a move to Italy, with Sassuolo linked, but he is still with Feyenoord and is set to stay with the club for next season.

Style of play

After years playing in the centre of midfield, Karsdorp has excellent passing and crossing ability for a right-back, which explains the amount of assists the youngster has accumulated since making his debut for Feyenoord. Karsdorp is a powerful runner and uses his strength and speed well to bomb up and down the wing.

The U21 international excels with the attacking side of his game but still needs to develop his skills defensively. He can be caught out of position at times and tackling has been found out as a definite weak point of his game.

What to expect from Karsdorp this season

Karsdorp will be key to Feyenoord’s campaign and their chances of maintaining a title challenge, whilst making an impression in the Europa League. Already one of the top right backs in the league, Karsdorp will look to develop his defensive attributes over the coming year and if he works on his weaknesses a move to a top club and a first Netherlands cap won’t be too far away.

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