Euroscout: Gregory van der Wiel


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Gregory van der Wiel

Ahead of the Euro 2012 finals, we study the flying Dutch right-back who could move to Chelsea this summer.

Name: Gregory van der Wiel

Date of birth: February 3, 1988 (age 24)

Place of birth: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Nationality: Dutch

Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)

Position: Right-back

Current club: Ajax Amsterdam

Chelsea and Bayern Munich were linked with Gregory van der Wiel in January, but it is fair to say they may have a bit more competition for the young Ajax right-back if he impresses at the Euro 2012 finals.

A £20 million price tag was slapped on his head by the Dutch club at the outset of the year, but they may reduce those demands in the close season with the Eredivisie title in the bag. Paulo Ferreira, Jose Bosingwa and Branislav Ivanovic could all be moving on over the summer as Champions League winners Chelsea look to reduce the age of their squad.

Real Madrid and AS Roma have also been alerted to the player's capabilities and potential. Barcelona and Real Madrid are apparently keen on Ivanovic with Van der Wiel touted as his likely replacement. If Chelsea collect the £20 million they want for Ivanovic, Van der Wiel could arrive at half the price. The concern among Chelsea's fans would be asking whether or not they are getting half the player?

Van der Wiel is perhaps not as strong as Ivanovic, but he has pace to burn and has extensive experience at such a young age. He has won a couple of Dutch titles and cups and played in the 2010 World Cup final for the Netherlands. Van der Wiel may well feel the time is right for a move to the Premier League.

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Gregory van der Wiel in action for the Netherlands

Van der Wiel certainly looks more comfortable in the role of attacking wing-back rather than out-and-out defender. He made a few errors in the first half against Slovakia, but was not alone with the Dutch guilty of overplaying the ball from time to time.

He is essentially a certain starter for Bert van Marwijk's side at the European Championships providing he is fit with 25 caps gleaned since making his debut against Tunisia in a friendly match three years ago.

With Ajax operating a policy of selling on their best young players, his club will not be difficult to deal with as they look to cash in on their home-grown products. For a figure who was named his country's best young talent in 2010 by winning the Johan Cruyff award he is maturing into an emerging force, but is not the finished article. Whether or not he can be the next great Dutch export remains to be seen.

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Chelsea's future right-back?

Analysis from the Netherlands's 2-0 win over Slovakia in a friendly match on May 30 in Rotterdam.

10' - Van der Wiel works the pass to Robben before bounding down the right. Real energy about the Dutch with the home players all helping out the attack.

29' - Van der Wiel elects to pass the ball back to goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, who picks up the ball for some reason. The Dutch survive as  Stoch drives a free-kick into the side of the net.

31' - Van der Wiel rolls the ball to Robben. Slovakia block the cross through Svento and the home side have a corner.

41' - Van der Wiel so unfortunate so see a shot deflect over the bar from Robben's pass. Fine play by the Dutch.

54' - Van der Viel with the cross looking for Robben, but Slovakia hoist the ball out their box.

70' - Van der Viel back to do some fine covering to prevent Kona from cutting a dash through.

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