Mickey van der Penne (Tottenham) is in the spotlight after just one game.
Tottenham announced the signing of van der Penne on Aug. 8, and he’s only been in training for three days. It was expected that he would need time to adapt, but head coach Enze Postecoglou had other ideas.
He started and played the full match against Brentford in the first round of the 2023-2024 English Premier League (EPL) season at the GTEK Community Stadium in London, England, on Sept. 13. Tottenham drew 2-2 with Brentford. Brentford were ‘unlucky’ to have their second goal deflected in off the foot of van der Penn.
But the center-back pairing of Christian Romero and Davinson Sanchez was solid. From the first game, he impressed.
Postecoglou admitted to taking “a bit of a gamble” but gave van der Penn a thumbs-up for his performance. “He’s only had three training sessions,” he said. I could have waited a little longer, but I decided to play him. My feeling is that van der Penn will be a very good footballer and the sooner we introduce him to Premier League football, the better he will be.”
Born in 2001, van der Penn is a long defender at 1.93 meters. He was captain of the Netherlands U-21 national team and is touted as the next Virgil van Dijk. A former Wolfsburg player, van der Penn made 33 Bundesliga appearances last season, breaking into the first team.
His greatest strength is his speed. Van der Penn has a top speed of 35.89 kilometers per hour in the Bundesliga. That’s the fastest pace of any center back in the Bundesliga. Tottenham were so enamored with van der Penn’s speed and potential that they paid £43 million for him from Wolfsburg.
Van der Penn’s reaction was special. After his EPL debut, he said: “It was unbelievable, I was so excited. “It’s just that we didn’t get the win, that’s the only blemish, but we now move on to next week,” he said.
He added: “Everything was more difficult. The ups and downs, the tempo was faster. There was never a moment in the match when you felt you could relax a bit. I had to be sharp and 100% focused all the time.” “Of course, at first everything is new. Later on, you will feel more comfortable. It helps that my teammates are talking about it positively.”
He also explained why he chose Spurs. “Because it’s an amazing club,” van der Penn replied without hesitation. “They have a good view of posteriori football. Attacking football is what I like, and it doesn’t matter to me to play with a lot of space at the back. If we train and train and train, I think we can do something beautiful.”
Van der Penn made his professional debut in Volendam, Netherlands, before moving to Wolfsburg in 2021. His role model is Jan Vertonghen, 36. The Belgian made his professional debut with Dutch side Ajax before moving to Tottenham in 2012, where he played eight seasons and 315 games. 꽁머니지급
“When Vertonghen played for Ajax, I always saw him on the pitch, he’s a really good left-footed center back,” said van der Penn. I learned a lot from him, like watching his videos,” he laughed.
Vertonghen, who now plays for Anderlecht in Belgium, also worked closely with Son at Tottenham. He was responsible for Son’s 70-meter sprint goal against Burnley that won him the Pushkas award. When Bertongan was told that his “forced assist” had earned him the Puskas, he replied, “Super Jan, that was a great assist,” which brought a big smile to his face.
Van der Penn is also left-footed. He can play as a left fullback as well as a center back.