Premier League players arriving from the Netherlands are sometimes treated with mistrust, often unfairly so, but Steven Bergwijn looks to have a lot of the right ingredients.
The new Tottenham winger has contributed 10 Eredivisie assists for PSV this season to go with his 12 from last term, and that creativity combined with his goals and all-round play have helped him stake his claim for a place in the Dutch Euro 2020 squad.
While none of this is a guarantee of success in the Premier League, we can guarantee Bergwijn will be a hugely exciting player to watch.
Control at pace is an underrated talent, but it seems to come naturally to Bergwijn. Give him the ball and put him one on one with a defender and he’ll turn the afterburners on so quickly they become the beforeburners.
PEC Zwolle’s Darryl Lachman found this out the hard way last season.
With PSV one goal to the good, Bergwigjn picked the ball up in his own half before getting to the point where all he needed to do was beat the Curacao international for pace.
Most players would have thought they lacked the space to take on a defender for pace in this situation. Indeed, most wouldn’t have trusted themselves enough to even try. However, Bergwijn is a man who can cover twice as much ground as a defender in half the time and still somehow emerge with the ball at his feet.
It doesn’t matter that the finish barely squeezed over the line. A cleaner strike would have been prettier, but most others wouldn’t have even earned the opportunity.
While his pace is certainly a weapon, Bergwijn isn’t without subtlety when he needs new ways of embarrassing defenders. Indeed, he doesn’t even need to park the burst of pace to do just that.
Against Heracles last season, he raced onto a ball from deep only to get there and decide scoring a normal goal wouldn’t be enough of a test.
And, fair play to the guy, coming back to let an opponent back into the picture just so you can beat them again is extremely satisfying.
Unless you’re Heracles defender Stephen Sama, we suppose, but he was little more than collateral in this move.
While this year has been more about sharing the wealth, creating goal after goal for the likes of Donyell Malen, Bergwjn has been saving some of the glory for himself.
It might seem rude that one of his best moments came against Heracles again after last season’s magic, but football isn’t about being nice. At least, not if you want to succeed.
If any of you were worried about the Dutchman’s versatility, you needn’t be: he uses his pace as a tool, rather than a weapon, so goals like this can leave defenders questioning everything.
You can’t rock on your heels because he’ll zip into that empty space behind you, you can’t commit fully because he’ll slow down and roll past you, and you can’t even stand off because then he’ll do something like this.
A phenomenal dribbler with pace to burn, Bergwijn isn’t just a player who can benefit Premier League clubs but one whose arrival would be a boon for viewers too.
The quality and end-product at his disposal it matched by him being really, really fun to watch, something which we can see coming into play in cameos off the bench just as readily as in starts.