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BTOT Scout: Steven Defour

Siddarth Friday, October 29, 2010

Welcome to the first edition of the BTOT Scout, today we take a look at Belgian playmaker and Standard Liege captain Steven Defour.

Steven has been widely linked with a move to Europe for quite a while, and has been associated with United quite heavily off late, as a potential replacement for Paul Scholes. Steven’s link to United came to the fore after Sir Alex sent him a letter wishing him all the best with his recovery after he had broken his foot in late 2009. Since then the rumors linking him to United have been steadily increasing.

Steven began his career at KV Mechelen’s youth team, before joining KRC Genk in 2004 when he was only 16, the following season he broke into their first team and became their most important player at just age 17, becoming their creative mainstay. In 2006, Standard Liege signed him, beating off competition from other Belgian giants. He went to be named the Most Valuable Player in the Belgian league the same year, and helped them to consecutive league titles in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons. He was named captain of the side when he was only 19, coinciding with the first of their two titles since Defour joined.

Defour is already a regular for the Belgian national team, having already earned 26 caps for the national side. The Belgian national side is emerging as one to look out for in the future, loaded with incredible attacking talent, who are very young. They have the likes of Alex Witsel, Fellaini, Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, Jelle Vossen and of course, Defour coming through, and will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

Defour basically is a central midfielder, gifted with exceptional vision and creativity, this along with his great passing make him a great playmaker, capable pulling the strings from midfield and controlling a game. Interestingly, Defour is also known for his excellent work rate, an attribute not associated with many playmakers. He works hard to help regain possession and try to ensure the team keeps the ball. Steven is also a natural leader on the pitch, and has real leadership qualities.

Steven biggest weakness has to be in the air, only 5’8”, he’s not the most imposing in an aerial battle. While his shooting has also been a letdown, given his attacking capabilities, it’s a side of his game he really needs to work on; he’s only managed to score 10 goals for Standard since he joined them in 2006.

Is he good enough to take over from Scholes? Well, I’m not very sure if he’s talented enough for that. For me, there’s only one other player who is as good as Scholes when it comes to passing and creativity, and that’s Xavi. But Defour is only 22, and will still improve, if he does join United, he will be a good addition to our midfield, providing much needed creativity, found lacking when Scholes isn’t playing.

He's likely to cost interested parties around $12-15 million. Whether he joins United or not, his time in Belgium is surely numbered, he’ll certainly move to one of the big clubs in Europe soon. He’s a very talented player, and deserves to show his talent at a bigger stage.

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AbhinavCJ said...

It'll be unfair on Defour if fans start comparing with Scholes the moment (in case) he arrives at OT... Your scouting report gives positive feedback about him but I have a question - is he as effective now as he was before the injury? Coz we've seen players face a decline after bad injuries, say Alan Smith or even Hargreaves...

Siddarth said...

He's still getting back to his best, he's yet to reach the level he once was for me, but considering the amount of interest in him and his successful return so far, the chances that he will regress is very less for me

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