After just one match in a PSV shirt, Manchester City defender Karim Rekik is already turning heads.
The 18-year-old Dutch defender is currently on loan at Eredivisie giants PSV Eindhoven. Although he probably could have been the fourth choice center-back in Manuel Pellegrini’s squad, the club chose to loan him to an Eredivisie side and have him develop in his native land.
City will hope that Rekik can do as well as teammate John Guidetti did while playing in the Netherlands. Since arriving at Manchester City from Feyenoord as a 16-year-old in 2011, he’s been one of the clubs top prospects. Of City’s current youth players, Rekik is the only one that has started a league game - which he played well in. The coaches at City have high hopes for him.
Rekik isn’t the tallest defender - standing at 1.86 m/6’1 ft - but is a very strong lad with very good leaping and heading abilities. He also has very good pace, an attribute not commonly associated with center-backs, which allows him to keep up with most attackers, and goes hand in hand with his solid tackling skills.
But perhaps the most impressive things about his game is his awareness of time and anticipation of other players. The 18-year-old always seems to know when he has time to pass the ball to the midfield, pass it back to the keeper, or just clear the ball right away. Rekik does a wonderful job anticipating opposing teams movements and runs.
And he put in a man of the match performance last Wednesday (24th July) in PSV’s friendly match against Turkish club Fenerbache. All of his abilities were on full display as he led PSV’s defence to a clean sheet and an eventual 2-0 win over the Turkish giants.
He cleared headers with ease, was comfortable playing as the last man, and at times even moved up and attacked.
Overall, Karim Rekik showed that he can play well against tough opposition, and is ready to take a big step in his career and begin to fulfill his potential.
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