Bayer Leverkusen’s new left-back Mitchel Bakker already has Ajax and Paris Saint-Germain on his CV, however what else is there to know concerning the younger Dutchman?
Membership: Bayer Leverkusen
Nation: Netherlands (U21 cap)
Born in Purmerand, a metropolis in North Holland in June 2000, Bakker is the son of former Ajax, Groningen and Haarlem winger Edwin Bakker, who hung up his boots in 1990. Like his father earlier than him, he was quickly making the half-hour drive south to Amsterdam, becoming a member of Ajax’s fabled youth academy on the age of 10.
After working his approach up by their age group groups and concluding his youth profession with a Dutch second-tier title with Jong Ajax in 2018, it appeared solely a matter of time earlier than Bakker would make his top-flight debut on the Johan Cruyff Area. However PSG had different concepts.
The nine-time French champions signed Bakker as a promising prospect in 2019, however when fellow left-back Juan Bernat suffered a ruptured cruciate ligament on the opening day of final season, former Mainz and Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel – now a UEFA Champions League winner with Chelsea – made him his first alternative within the place forward of Layvin Kurzawa.
Though his taking part in time cooled down after Mauricio Pochettino succeeded Tuchel within the PSG dugout, Bakker nonetheless concluded the 2020/21 marketing campaign with 40 appearances in all competitions to his identify.
His two assists final time period are the story of a participant nonetheless engaged on his ultimate supply after entering into harmful attacking areas, though his three provisions in six video games for the Dutch U21s in 2020 recommend the younger Bakker has it in him.
Bakker (r.) beforehand appeared comfortable alongside Neymar (l.) and Co. at PSG below Thomas Tuchel. – FRANCK FIFE/AFP through Getty Photographs
Play a bit like: Marcel Halstenberg
He might stand at 6’1″-tall and have the bodily profile of a centre-back, however Bakker likes to stand up and down the left flank, his anticipation, fast management and switch of tempo making him an attacking asset moments after profitable again possession.
The very fact Bakker might be used on the left of a 3 or as a wing-back in a 3-4-3, in addition to in his pure slot on the left of a again 4, ought to are available helpful to new Leverkusen coach Gerardo Seoane subsequent season, and is harking back to RB Leipzig and Germany defender Marcel Halstenberg.
Do you know?
Bakker shares a hometown with Martin Koeman, the daddy of present Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman and his elder brother Erwin, all of whom have been full internationals for the Netherlands throughout their taking part in careers.
Purmerend might solely have a inhabitants of 80,000, however fellow skilled footballers Olaf Lindenbergh, Yuri Rose, Edwin Zoetebier and Mitchell Dijks have been all born there, as was Killien Jungen, the Cannes striker who additionally occurs to be Bakker’s cousin.
Mitchel Bakker is from the identical area of the Netherlands as present Barcelona supervisor Ronald Koeman (r.). – LLUIS GENE/AFP through Getty Photographs
What they’re saying
“[Joining Leverkusen] is a chance to take the following step at a lovely membership. The general package deal from Leverkusen satisfied me. The sporting administration did lots to get me and the conversations have been very productive. The membership is bold and so am I. That goes properly collectively.” – Bakker on swapping PSG for Leverkusen
“Mitchel Bakker combines athletic qualities corresponding to tempo and power in challenges with footballing potential. He’s a contemporary full-back with a powerful want to get ahead and he’ll assist our crew.” – Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Völler