Alex Lynch writes a detailed Scout Report about Jorrit Hendrix, the Netherlands’ newest International midfielder.
The Dutch national team is traditionally one of the world’s best. Great showings in the World Cup over the years have justified this theory, with 3rd and 2nd place finishes in the last two World Cups respectively. But after failing to qualify for Euro 2016, the Netherlands are now in a state of transition after having all of that success. Since the team is in transition, many new faces are being introduced to the team by Danny Blind, and many of these young stars feature in the Eredivisie. One of these new boys is none other than PSV star midfielder Jorrit Hendrix, who is rapidly making himself a player to watch in the Netherlands.
Who Is Jorrit Hendrix?
Hendrix was born in the Netherlands in the small city of Panningen, which falls in the province of Limburg. Limburg falls right outside of Eindhoven, which is why PSV is the only major club that Hendrix has ever played for. He arrived in Eindhoven in 2004 at the age of 9 to join the youth ranks, and the Dutchman has been progressing ever since. By the time Hendrix was 15 in 2009 he was one of the top prospects in the PSV Academy, and as a result he made his Netherlands u-15 debut. He would score 2 goals in 4 games for that youth team and by 2010 he had become a member of the u-16 squad as well. 6 games for the u-16’s followed but he kept on progressing and by September of 2011 he would make his debut for the u-17 squad. He became a mainstay in the team, making 13 caps for the squad and becoming one of their standout performers.
Talent Radar Accolades:
After gaining attention for his performances in the academy and the youth team, Hendrix made his debut for Jong PSV in the second tier of the Dutch game in August of 2013. After playing only a handful of times for Jong PSV, Hendrix made his Eredivisie debut in August of 2013 as well, and his rise since then has been meteoric. He would end up making 20 Eredivisie appearances in his first season with the senior team, with most of his appearances coming on as a substitute. But eventually Hendrix became a first team player in Eindhoven, and he’s become an instrumental part of PSV’s team having helped them win the Eredivisie in consecutive seasons. One of those seasons was last season, where Hendrix made 37 appearances and contributed 2 goals to go along with his passing and tackling. He only picked up 3 yellow cards in league play last season and was integral to PSV. This season Hendrix has taken even more strides, he’s started the season in impressive fashion. The Dutchman has also scored a brilliant goal to boot, which shows that he might be expanding his game even further. Finally his play has been recognized by Danny Blind, who called him up for the international break this September. Hendrix made his first senior cap as a substitute against Greece but with his characteristics that might be the first of many International appearances.
What is his Style of Play?
Hendrix is a very typical defensive midfielder in the way he plays since he tackles a lot and doesn’t get on the scoresheet all that often but contributes with his passing. He spreads the ball in the final third and helps PSV’s talented wingers get favorable matchups against the fullbacks who most of the time they beat for pace. Hendrix is also a player who is willing to get stuck in to a tackle and isn’t afraid of getting carded in a similar matter to Francis Coquelin.
Athletico Madrid’s Nicolas Gaitan (C-R) vies for the ball with PSV Eindhoven’s Jorrit Hendrix during the UEFA Champions League football match. (Photo credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
What are his Strengths?
Hendrix has a lot of strengths for a player of his age, and one of which is tackling. He’s averaging over 2 tackles per game this season but for his entire career he’s averaged around 2 tackles, even though he plays in the Eredivisie which isn’t a very physical league. He also plays for a team that attacks a lot, so even though he doesn’t tackle as much as someone like Busquets he still has an impressive amount of tackles. His tackling was just as efficient in the Champions League, which shows that his physicality translates to teams of higher quality than the Eredivisie. It’s rare for a 21-year-old to be as efficient in the tackles as Hendrix is, with this kind of physical play becoming more and more rare in today’s game. Besides his tackling, Hendrix is also a solid passer who can find his teammates in space, which is why his passing percentage is a solid 84% so far this season. His passing percentage last season was 84% as well, which shows that Hendrix has been an accurate for quite some time. Combine that with 2 assists and around 1 key pass per game in the last season and you have a very solid passer in Hendrix. Part of the reason why PSV score so many goals is because of the passing of players like Hendrix in the midfield. He helps start the build up which helps their strikers like De Jong get a hold of the ball. The value of passing from a deeper position is sometimes underrated but Hendrix certainly contributes to PSV’s build up.
PSV Eindhoven’s midfielder Jorrit Hendrix (R) and Atletico Madrid’s French forward Antoine Griezmann fight for the ball during the UEFA Champions League (Photo credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Besides his passing and tackling ability, his other main strength is his discipline on the pitch. Even though this is something that’s often overlooked, it’s very important for defensive midfielders like Hendrix to stay out of the book. With only 3 yellow cards last season, Hendrix did a good job maintaining composure and making smart tackles. This season the trend has only continued, as Hendrix has yet to receive a booking at the time of writing. Even though some of this is due to PSV’s domination of many league games, it’s still an impressive stat nonetheless.
What are his Weaknesses?
While Hendrix has many good qualities, he’s not without his flaws as well. Since he’s only around 6 feet tall and since he doesn’t have a lot of weight on him, he’s not a strong as some other defensive midfield players. Being able to bully people off of the ball is very important and useful for players like Hendrix, which is why he does need to work on this part of his game. He doesn’t often need this strength, but if he plays in a more physical league it’ll certainly be tested. It’ll be interesting to see if teams try and exploit his strength in this season’s Champions League campaign, because if they do Hendrix is certainly in for a test. Besides his strength being a weakness, he also hasn’t ever featured outside of the Dutch top flight and has yet to prove anything internationally. Being a player with little continental experience will make the bigger clubs wary before buying him. This is because the Eredivisie has had star players flop in bigger leagues in years past and it’s hard to tell which ones will succeed and which ones won’t. Even though Hendrix isn’t that experienced or all that strong, he’s a tremendous passer and tackler who is very disciplined. His strengths will overrule his weaknesses and Hendrix has all of the tools to be the next stalwart in the defensive midfield position for the Netherlands.
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Alex Lynch is an avid Arsenal supporter for many years and is interested in football culture and tactics from across the world. His main focus is on the Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga.
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