Jean-Paul Boetius born on 22 March, 1994, is a young left winger, who currently plays for Feyenoord. The 18-year-old came through the ranks of the Feyenoord Academy and is a distant cousin of Fulham midfielder Urby Emanuelson.
Boetius’ breakthrough occurred this season, to the surprise of most Feyenoord supporters. On 28 October, 2012, the side had to play against rivals Ajax,and due to an injury to Ruben Schaken, coach Koeman decided to line-up young Boetius. He stole the heart of many supporters after scoring the equalizing goal in the 23rd minute.
After his debut, Boetius worked his way up to becoming a first-team regular, notching up 16 league appearances so far, and scoring four goals in the process. The young winger has underlined his talent with a star performance against N.E.C Nijmegen. The game resulted in a 0-3 victory for Feyenoord, and a brace by Boetius sealed the deal. Jean-Paul Boetius featured in our list of 100 Best Young Players to Watch-out for in 2014. He was at #8 in our list of forwards / wingers. See the entire list here.
His excellent performances did not go unnoticed by Louis van Gaal, the current Netherlands coach. On March 6, 2013, the young starlet received a call-up to appear in the pre-selection of the squad, for the matches against Estonia and Romania. He would not make it, as Van Gaal dropped Boetius, when he announced the definite squad.
His debut for the Dutch national team still has yet to happen, but it is a matter of time, before the teenager will appear for the Netherlands. Former Dutch football legends are very optimistic about the youngster, as he has received very generous praises from several already.
Bert van Marwijk: “ I think Boetius is the best winger in the Eredivisie.”
His current coach: Ronald Koeman is also full of praise of his young pupil, stating, “ Boetius can become a very big player.” “ He has an advantage over other young talents, due to the fact that he reads the game better than his peers.”
Style, Strengths and Weaknesses
Several right-backs in the Eredivisie have already witnessed and experienced the skill of Jean-Paul Boëtius. His open-minded and playful attacking style is very hard to defend against. He combines these assets with raw pace and technique, which allows his to skip past opponents easily.
He is able to trick his direct opponents and therefore his style of play is troublesome for every right back in the Eredivisie. That is, if you decide to mark him closely, Boëtius can skip past you, using his sheer pace and outrun you easily. While in contrast zonal marking, would be an alternative, however his technique, creativity and playfulness allows him to outsmart opponents and set himself up for a cross.
In comparison to other young talents on his position, Boëtius posses a trait that more experienced players have mastered. Whilst most young talented wingers are known to have some tricks up their sleeves, it is the ability to read a game most youngsters are lacking. This particular ability is very important in football nowadays, and can decide whether a talent grows into a mature player or fails to flourish. Aspects as: positioning, off the ball movement and knowing when to pass the ball or to hold on to it. These factors are rare and not found in young talents, but as they mature and gain experience, these factors tend to grow. However in Boëtius’ case it is considered second nature. The youngster has adopted these features remarkably fast.
Additionally, the young winger does not lose his cool, when he finds himself in a fruitful position. The four goals that he scored were well-composed finishes that most strikers would be jealous of. One of which was a hard shot in the left corner against N.E.C proving that he is able to shoot from distance as well.
Although possessing such a wide range of skills and capabilities, there are some weaknesses or rather points that could use some refinement. One of which is that his end-pass lacks accuracy. With the help of his formerly explained skills, Boëtius sets himself up for a cross multiple times each game. However a high percentage of these crosses, do not produce any danger, whereas in potential it could lead to some great scoring chances. This goes hand-in-hand with a mental capability of decisiveness in the moment supreme. The final pass is often not a miss-hit but a wrong decision. Instead of giving a high cross, the teenager would resort to a low hard cross, and vice-versa.
Moreover, due to his age and tender body, he tends to get knocked off the ball quite easily. His fragility has resulted in awkward losses of possession. It would improve his game tremendously, if the youngster would gain some strength and muscle. This way it would be harder to rob the ball from him, and he would be more of an imposing threat to bigger defenders as well.
Last thing to mention is his off the pitch mentality, he knows he is blessed with great talent and he remains very humble and sober. He has a mental button, which he can switch, that allows him to play without any pressure. His debut underlines this fact, scoring against Ajax on his first appearance, in Eredivisie history only one player has achieved such a feat.
To be honest there are no concrete transfer rumours yet for the young Jean-Paul Boëtius. On 29 November 2012 the youngster has signed a new deal which will extend his current contract with Feyenoord by 2 years. The contract now is set to expire at the end of the summer of 2016.
It is hard to imagine that there the big clubs are not watching his steady development and star performances for Feyenoord. The Eredivisie is known as a pond filled with exciting young talent, and Boëtius is one of the biggest prodigies, that swim in this pond.
Undoubtedly, the Feyenoord winger is being followed and tracked by several big clubs, and it is a matter of time before these clubs will resort to action. Boëtius is definitely a name to remember, as I firmly believe that Feyenoord has produced a future Football star.
This article is a Guest Post by Siew-Jones Lee. He runs his own football website dedicated completely to Dutch Football (www.dutchfootball-league.com). You can also follow him on twitter