Steven Bergwijn has managed to cement his place down as Jose Mourinho’s first-choice right-winger at Tottenham Hotspur ahead of the likes of Gareth Bale and Lucas Moura.
Although his returns, on the face of it, have been far from impressive – failing to score or assist a single goal in eight appearances, four of which have been starts in just as many outings.
However, his influence under the ‘Special One’ far exceeds that of merely goal contributions as his selfless work rate at either end of the pitch is absolutely everything the Spurs chief is after, which is why he’s starting and lasting in so many matches lately.
Bergwijn, the sacrificial lamb, as he should be known…
Statistically, of any Spurs player that has started five more matches in the English top-flight, Bergwijn ranks as the worst per WhoScored with a rating of just 6.36.
The 23-year-old has failed to register a shot in matches against Arsenal (2-0 win) and Crystal Palace (1-1 draw) but has instead recorded four tackles and three clearances, as well as delivering four tactical fouls across both games.
Mourinho hasn’t selected him to follow in the footsteps of the free-scoring Heung-min Son, who acts as an inside-forward on that left flank or Harry Kane, who often drops deep to help the cause.
No, instead, Bergwijn is almost being deployed as either a wing-back or someone that can occupy the half-spaces in midfield, this is most seen by his heat map from the victory over the Gunners two weeks ago – per SofaScore:
The majority of his 31 touches throughout the 89 minutes he was on the pitch were literally just outside of Hugo Lloris’ penalty box, which speaks volumes as a player that is renowned for his attacking prowess.
His role has changed substantially since his debut goal against Manchester City and is why he continues to be handed the reins over either Bale or Moura.
Teammate Eric Dier knows it all too well having regularly faced him in training, speaking to the Premier League’s official YouTube channel, he said:
“Steven Bergwijn is a player I enjoy to watch in training and in games. He has that Dutch-style about him. He’s so good in possession, keeps the ball so well, technically so sound.”
Take a step back and truly appreciate what the 5 foot 8 sensation is truly doing for Spurs right now.
AND in other news, Exclusive: Spurs star compared to Grealish after moment in Palace draw…