Heerenveen’s academy has produced a number of top talents over the past few years and the latest off the conveyor belt is versatile defender Jerry St Juste.

  • By Michael Bell
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St Juste was born in Groningen, but joined the Heerenveen academy at the age of 11. Since then he has rapidly rose through the youth teams at Heerenveen, making his first team debut as an 18-year-old in a tie with Vitesse in January 2015.

“We’re talking about a very talented, young player. I’d have no problem calling him in when the opportunity arises”, said coach at the time Dwight Lodeweges after the youngster’s first team debut.

From that point on St Juste became a permanent fixture in the Frisian side’s backline, making 37 Eredivisie appearances for the club so far. His impressive performances have seen the defender nicknamed the Dutch Varane, and interest from clubs such as Manchester United and Celtic has been reported.

Style of play

St Juste is a stylish ball playing centre-back, who was adapted into a defensive midfielder during last season. A natural athlete, St Juste is excellent with the ball at his feet and his distribution is outstanding for a player of his age. He may not be the biggest centre back but his reading of the game and leaping ability makes up for his slender frame.

What can we expect from St Juste this season

Injury robbed Heerenveen of first choice centre back Joost van Aken last season in what was a difficult campaign for the Frisian side. With Jurgen Streppel taking over, Heerenveen will be aiming for Europe and St Juste will be keen to partner van Aken in the centre of defence and form a solid partnership.

If he can continue his rapid development then St Juste should become a regular for Netherlands U21’s and increase the chances of a move abroad.

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