This kid is going to the very top.

Newcastle, Tottenham, and Man Utd are battling it out to sign Serie A’s latest wonderkid centre-back

Young, talented central defenders seem to be spawning all over the world right now. Pau Cubarsi is very clearly the real deal over in Barcelona, Willy Kwambala has been a rare light in the dark at Manchester United, whilst Jarrad Branthwaite, Jarell Quansah, and William Saliba have all been outstanding this season.

The next defensive gift to be offered up by the footballing gods might well be Roma’s Dean Huijsen. If the early signs are anything to go by, well, good lord, we’ve got a special one.

Before we go any further, we’re going to need you to take a look at this goal he scored against Frosinone back in February. Bloody hell…

Now, unfortunately, he has hit the Cristiano Ronaldo SIUUUUUU celebration, which has ruined it for us, to be honest, but Huijsen was only 18 at the time (he’s only just turned 19) and kids do silly things.

His celebration was aimed at the Frosinone fans, who were giving him stick all game for turning down a loan to them in favour of Roma. The ref booked him and Daniele De Rossi subbed the young defender at half time. Can’t be hitting the SIUUUUUU at a serious football club.

Still, the ease with which he strides through the middle of the pitch, very nearly breaks Frosinone captain Luca Mazzitelli’s ankles, then nonchalantly brushes his shot into the far corner is nothing short of alarming.

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Huijsen is 6’5″—almost as tall as Big Dan Burn—but possesses remarkable technique. He moves the ball like a box-to-box midfielder, dictating play and striding into space when he’s afforded the opportunity.

He’s technically a Juventus player but has only made one appearance for the Bianconeri. Even in that one performance, his comfort on the ball, passing ability, and anticipation are all clear to see. It’s obvious why Roma chose to bring the teenager in on loan for the rest of the season.

Huijsen has an incredibly Dutch-sounding surname, and that’s because he was born to Dutch parents in Amsterdam. However, when Dean was just five years old, is family moved to Marbella—of Instagram hen do fame—and so he grew up in Spain, progressing through the youth academies of Costa Unida and Malaga respectively.

After representing the Netherlands at every age group up to under-19s, Huijsen acquired Spanish citizenship and has since switched allegiances to Spain, whom he now plays for at under-21 level.

One thing to note about Huijsen is that he’s skinny for a centre-back. Serie A is tough, and he’s coming up against some rock-solid strikers as well as training with human brick sh*thouse Romelu Lukaku every day, but if he’s going to make a move to the Premier League, he might benefit from filling out a little if he’s to avoid getting, for want of a better word, Michail Antonio’d.

At least three clubs have been mentioned in the conversation around the young Spaniard/Dutchman’s future: Newcastle, Man United, and Tottenham. It’s easy to see where he fits in each of those teams.

Newcastle United

Huijsen is something of a Fabian Schar regen. Schar has scored more goals than plenty of Premier League forwards, this season, and is a gorgeous passer of the ball. He breaks the lines by carrying the ball out of defence or by hitting inch-perfect balls over the top. Huijsen has a similar skillset and could be the long-term replacement for 32-year-old Schar.

His likely defensive partner would be the colossal Sven Botman, with whom he shares a language, and a player who would happily sit back and mop up any mess whilst Huijsen gets involved in attacking moves.

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Manchester United

Erik ten Hag was a big part of Matthijs de Ligt’s breakthrough at Ajax, and it’s easy to see how he might draw comparisons with Huijsen. The Red Devils may see him as a long-term replacement for Harry Maguire, who enjoys carrying the ball out of defence, but with less speed and technical proficiency than Huijsen. Maguire is aerially dominant, but there’s time to develop that side Dean’s game.

Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs are all-action, high entertainment, live-and-die-by-the-sword chaos under Ange Postecoglou, and we reckon the young centre-back would thrive in those circumstances. A modern day libero doing whatever he likes in possession, and reading the game intrinsically out of it. He’d be a lot of fun next to Micky van de Ven, but we’re not sure how much chaos is too much chaos at this level…

Actually, forget that — chaos is class.

This summer will be a pivotal one in the young man’s career, and he may well choose to stay at Juve having only made his debut for them this season. Either way, keep your eyes on this one — he’s going to be special.