Forthe Netherlands, Euro 2020 will go down as a disappointment. Their 2-0 loss against the Czech Republic was a dark day for the Orangemen. For PSV’s Denzel Dumfries, however, Euro 2020 will be known as the period in which he rose to international prominence.
The attacking fullback put in some great displays during the Netherlands’ campaign. Even in their subpar performance against the Czech Republic, he made strong runs forward and threw himself into some heroic blocks.
He consistently looked like the complete modern fullback. Adept at going forward and defending, whilst also having solid technical ability, he’s everything a fullback should be and more. He’s versatile, too. He can also play on the right wing if needed, and on rare occasions the left wing as well.
He gets forward very effectively. His pace and off the ball movement makes him a nightmare for defenders to deal with. He knows how to pull defenders out of position and disrupt a backline.
Euro 2020 proved to be the launching pad that Dumfries needed. After a stellar showing, he’s now on many top clubs’ radars. But just how did he work himself into this position?
Denzel Dumfries Puts Himself on the Map at Euro 2020
Dumfries at Euro 2020
Before Euro 2020, Dumfries had never scored for his country. This changed very quickly, as he put himself on the scoresheet against Ukraine and Austria in back-to-back games. The Ukraine encounter appeared comfortable at first, as the Dutch went 2-0 up. Ukraine were defiant however, and bravely battled back to 2-2.
Despite this setback, Netherlands pushed forward again. Nathan Ake lofted a ball into the box, which was met by Dumfries who headed the ball into the net. This one, key moment made Dumfries an instant Dutch hero.
The game against Austria was much more comfortable. The Netherlands got off to a good start, as Memphis Depay scored a penalty in the 11th minute. The Austrians looked to hit the Netherlands on the break, but they didn’t give them the space to do so. Eventually, his PSV teammate Donyell Malen was played through, allowing him to square it to the marauding Dumfries. The game was won.
After a comfortable 3-0 win over North Macedonia, the Netherlands progressed to the last 16. However, this would be their last cause for celebration.
In the last 16, the Netherlands were drawn against the Czech Republic. They started brightly, opening the Czechs up frequently. Crucially, Dumfries made a massive block in the first half to prevent a goal.
However, everything came crashing down after one isolated incident. The Czech found themselves in with a chance, with only Matthijs De Ligt to beat. As the ball was played past him, De Ligt discreetly handballed it to stop it going past him – but not discreetly enough.
De Ligt was sent off, and the Dutch slumped to a 2-0 defeat. The Netherlands, and consequently Dumfries’ Euros campaign was over.
Could a Big Money Move Be on the Horizon?
Several clubs have been linked with Dumfries following Euro 2020. He’d be a perfect fit in the Premier League, given his high work rate. The modern game requires fullbacks to cover an immense amount space, but this is light work for Dumfries.
The Bundesliga, likewise, demands a high level of stamina from the players within it, so he’d be fine there too. With Bayern slowly but surely converting Joshua Kimmich into a central midfielder, Dumfries could certainly fill in at right back.
Given his wide skillset, he could theoretically play as a utility player. Versatility is another important attribute in today’s game, given the level of tactical intricacies we are used to seeing.
He certainly deserves his big move. While PSV is a reputable club, the Eredivisie doesn’t offer the level of quality for Dumfries to develop any further. These days, the top players rarely stay in the Netherlands for very long.
Denzel Dumfries would be a quality signing for almost any big club. He has the attributes to be a top class fullback, but can also operate to a functional degree all over the pitch. His future is certainly bright. The real question is this: where will it take place?
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