Jordy Clasie

Jordy Clasie
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Jordy Clasie has made the step up that has been anticipated for a number of years now, by finally leaving Feyenoord, and the Eredivisie behind to move to the English Premier League, signing for Southampton. Since he first burst into the team he has been rumoured to be on the verge of a move to England, with a number of clubs scouting him on a repeated basis.

Clasie is a classy (see what I did there?) player, a central midfielder who can play as a holding midfielder or as one who gets forward playmaking further up the field. He was always likely to get a big move, as he stood out for Feyenoord, the only question was whether his small size and slightly lightweight frame would put off teams for the English Premier League from being the place he ended up.

Luckily for him, Ronald Koeman looked past the size to make him Soton's replacement for the outgoing Morgan Schneiderlin, due to his ability:

Clasie will add defensive responsibility, vision, a good range of passing and will always be looking to provide an option for his team mates to play the ball to him, even when under pressure. He does lack pace, physical strength and his lack of height makes him easily beaten in the air. This is his chance to prove the doubters wrong, especially Brendan Rodgers, who decided Joe Allen was a better bet to anchor the midfield than the much cheaper, but untested, Clasie.

Are his detractors correct in that his lack of a physical presence hampers him? To a degree it can do, yes. Clasie has to use good anticipation to nip in front of opponents and intercept, as he does not have the strength to muscle them off the ball.

One thing he will not add to the Saints' side is lots of goals, he is only an occasional goal scorer, at best. With his technique in striking the ball, given more freedom having Victor Wanyama alongside him protecting the Southampton defence, I believe that could change over the next couple of seasons. He is certainly a lovely clean striker of the ball, though he could do with hitting it with a bit more power behind it at times.

Unlike a player such as Yaya Toure, Clasie controls the play through getting the ball and setting a tempo with his passing, rather than trying to bully opposition midfielders. Like many smaller players, he is happy to get stuck in physically and refuse to be intimidated, though the midfield battle in the Prem he will find to be a completely different animal from the one he has left behind in the Netherlands' Eredivisie.

One weakness that is particularly clear is that he is very right footed, if he did not need something to stand on when he kicked, he would not even have a left foot. I would like to see him work on his left, as Pavel Nedved did, to make it stronger, that can make a huge difference in a tight midfield scramble. Shifting his body to get into position to play it with his right might not always be possible in England.

The time a midfielder gets on the ball can often be limited in the hurly burly fast paced Prem. Right now, you just know every coach going in to face Saints will be telling their players to force him onto his left foot. If they can close him down and hassle him into mistakes early in his time in the Prem, his confidence might well dip, which Ronald Koeman will have to be aware of.

Having said that, one thing that is abundantly clear at the moment, he does not currently lack for confidence. Clasie is one of the best young playmakers around, if he could improve his left foot then he could become one of the best midfielders in the world. He does not have the flashy skills, powerful driving runs, physical presence or aerial prowess that would stand out and made him a £20m player, he is a very good playmaker though.

If Clasie settles in to England well and can perform to his best, Saints might just have the best value signing of the summer of 2015. With Wanyama's power and pace alongside him, the combination in their midfield should ensure that last season was no fluke.