Danilho Doekhi: The 23-year-old captain available on a free this summer by Euan Milligan
Linked with a move to Rangers over the last year, Danilho Doekhi is on his way out of Eredivisie side Vitesse with his contract running down to this summer. Just ten days ago Doekhi stated, “I want to take a new step” despite the club desperate for their captain to sign a new deal, with him hinting at a possible move to a new country. Some may have thought the Rangers ship had sailed as they couldn’t secure his signature this January but Doekhi himself has confessed that his plan has always been to leave in the summer. What we know is that a transfer is inevitable but how much ability does he have, and where is his level?
Doekhi’s athleticism is what makes him stand out however pairing this with on the ball ability is what could have him playing at the top of European football- much like some of his former Jong Ajax teammates. His 3.7 clearances per game suggest a no-nonsense player when the ball is at his feet however the contradictory 79% pass accuracy shows he can be composed as well with the intelligence to know when to get rid of the ball and when to be more measured.
Doekhi has a wide range of passes in his locker and is always forward-thinking. Each dot in the image above represents a pass into the final third from the centre back in his most recent game against Utrecht (a game in which he scored a 92nd-minute equaliser.)
The Vitesse skipper has maintained an average of 49.7 passes per game this season, second in the whole squad, all while not having made a single error leading to a shot.
In the image above Doekhi, about to receive the ball under pressure, uses his composure to find a midfielder instead of just going long. When playing possession football players like this are key to the system.
In the same game, we see one of Doekhi’s weaknesses in that he can be rash at times. The defender rushes out to a ball he’s never going to win leaving space in behind.
In terms of defensive actions, that athleticism is key to his game. Standing at 6 ft 3, Doekhi wins 3.2 aerial duels per game (the second-most in the Eredevisie) at a 72% success rate. The Dutchman mixes strength and speed at ground level to average 1.8 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game as well as an impressive one v one ability with the defender only dribbled past 0.4 times per game.
Operating in a back five, Doekhi is allowed to step out and press the ball and likes to maraud up and down the right-hand side of the defence, supporting the wingback on the same side.
With impressive completeness, Danilho Doekhi would certainly be a good signing for an ambitious European side. The main link so far has been Rangers and with their recent record in Europe, it could be an appealing move for the centreback- switching the Conference League for the Europa or potentially Champions League if they win the title this season.