The Clasie ‘Dutch Xavi’ who could bolster Manchester United’s midfield

The Clasie ‘Dutch Xavi’ who could bolster Manchester United’s midfield

Jordy Clasie

Age: 22

Date of Birth: 27 June 1991

Preferred Position: Central midfield

Value: Approximately £15-25m

Like his nickname suggests, a lot is anticipated of Jordy Clasie. Having been hailed the ‘Dutch Xavi’ and linked with taking the mantle from Andrea Pirlo in the Juventus midfield, expectations are high.

Having been schooled by Feyenoord, Clasie has a great level of technical ability. However, his tactical skills are often underrated for someone so young. Having made his debut for Excelsior at the age of 19 on loan from Feyenoord, he caught glares from around Europe straight away. His tenacious, battling attitude, matched with his guile and agility, made him the heartbeat of the Excelsior midfield. Although Excelsior just avoided relegation via the play-offs, Jordy’s classy performances were the highlight of their season.

One thing the Manchester United midfield has lacked in recent times is real pace in the engine room – Clasie could provide that.

Having returned to Feyenoord, he has become a fundamental cog in Ronald Koeman’s side since he took over in 2011. Sitting alongside Tonny Vilhena, Clasie can help break up play and start counter-attacks from deep within his own area. His agility and pace can often help him get out of tight situations. However, he can be rather rash and aggressive when going forward which leaves gaps behind him when the ball is lost. His range of passing is as good as his vision and he can pick out players on the pitch with aplomb.

One thing the Manchester United midfield has lacked in recent times is real pace in the engine room – Clasie could provide that. Whilst also being pacey, he is dynamic as he can put himself about and is not afraid to tackle. His slight frame makes it easier for him to nip around and nab the ball whilst his anticipation can often help him intercept dangerous opposition passes.

He also displays a fantastic level of athleticism and balance when on the ball, very similar to what Xavi and Andrea Pirlo have done for so long. Having that composure to also look up and find a pass is something he has developed since returning to Feyenoord in 2011. Koeman himself enjoyed coming forward from defensive positions and there are also shades of Koeman in the way Clasie times his attacking runs through the middle. He shows a level of maturity which is often lost amongst young players – being wise in his decisions whether to attack or to sit.

If Moyes moved for Clasie, he would fit in perfectly at Manchester United. He would provide another element to a midfield which can often be stale. Offering creativity from deep positions whilst also being able to dictate the tempo could aide the team, especially with Michael Carrick coming into the twilight of his career. He would add pace to help break up play and would compliment Carrick’s more composed and thought game.

The obvious pitfall would be his ability to be able to match the real physical element to the game in England. The majority of Dutch purchases from the Eredivisie have adapted to the pace and intensity of the game here but Clasie is very slim in his frame. We have seen an evolution in recent times of successful midfield’s not built on brute strength but it would be a concern that Clasie could be bullied off the ball far easier than he is in Holland, where midfielders are not pressing as intensely in the Premier League.

Clubs are waiting for him to develop and gain further experience before making a move which seems wise but despite his flaws, Clasie would without a doubt enhance United’s midfield.

Do you think Jordy Clasie would be a good signing for Manchester United? 

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About The Author

Sam founded The Peoples Person back in 2011 after writing his university dissertation on The Munich Air Disaster. Since then, the website has been creating daily Man United content on everything from transfers and features to full match day coverage.