A superstar in the making, Rick van Drongelen is already a first team regular for Sparta Rotterdam at 17 and is now preparing for his first season in the Eredivisie.

  • By Michael Bell
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The defender took part in pre-season with the first team at Sparta Rotterdam last summer and was handed his debut early in the season by coach Alex Pastoor against Volendam, making the 16-year-old van Drongelen the second youngest player to represent the club.

Despite his age the defender flourished in the Eerste Divisie and went on to make 15 appearances as Sparta Rotterdam romped to the title. By the end of the season, van Drongelen was first choice at centre-back and he became the youngest player to ever score for the club when he netted in a win over Emmen.

Ajax, PSV and Chelsea have all been linked with signing the youngster, but he remains with Sparta Rotterdam and will be crucial in their bid to survive in the Eredivisie.

Style of play

Van Drongelen is a physically powerful left-footed central defender, who like most Dutch centre-backs is comfortable bringing the ball out of defence. For his age, van Drongelen has an excellent reading of the game and is a match for any striker he has faced so far.

What does this season hold for van Drongelen?

Keeping Sparta Rotterdam in the Eredivisie will be priority number one for van Drongelen, but the youngster will also be aiming to prove himself at the highest level in the Netherlands. At 17-years-old van Drongelen already looks like an accomplished centre-back and this season can confirm his status as a future superstar.

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