Van de Ven, the ideal weapon against Saka? 'The fastest ever in the Premier League'

Micky van de Ven played an important role as a substitute in the quarterfinal against Turkey last Saturday, but now he is back to reality. The 23-year-old Tottenham Hotspur defender accepts his role as a substitute in the Dutch national team, although his speed could be very useful against the English attackers.

Van de Ven, the ideal weapon against Saka? 'The fastest ever in the Premier League' Embed from Getty Images

Van de Ven attended a press moment on Monday morning and first reflected on the victory over Turkey. He is now back to reality. "I enjoyed it yesterday, but now I'm focusing on the next match." He found satisfaction in his role during the final stages, when he was crucial with a few interventions. "In the last minutes, it was about surviving, and we showed our team mentality. I don't mind defending, that's why I became a defender."

Van de Ven has already come on the field four times in this European Championship, always as a substitute for Nathan Aké. "If you often come in as a substitute, you can also become a key player if you can contribute something," said the eight-time international about his role. "You always want a starting position, but my role now is that of a substitute. I have to contribute when I come on. Coming on as a substitute is often challenging, depending on the match. You need time to get into the rhythm. But I do what the coach asks of me."


On Wednesday, the Dutch team will face Bukayo Saka on the left flank. Van de Ven already knows the Arsenal winger from the Premier League, and his speed could be very useful against the standout player. Whether he is faster than Saka, Van de Ven did not want to say himself. "If you look at the data, I think you already have your answer." Cody Gakpo was clearer. "According to the data, he is the fastest ever in the Premier League. That's hard to play against. He is strong, fast, good on the ball, and defensively solid. He is doing excellently."

Van de Ven remained modest, even when asked if coach Ronald Koeman should choose him for the semifinal against England because of his speed. "That's up to the coach. Nathan and Virgil are ahead of me; they are two fantastic defenders who are also performing well. It's up to me to accept that. Saka is a good player with speed, but Nathan and Virgil also have a lot of speed. I'm sure they can handle him too."

In addition to his reflections on his role and the upcoming challenge against England, Van de Ven emphasized the importance of team mentality and adaptability. He expressed his commitment to doing whatever is necessary to support the team, whether starting or coming off the bench. His focus remains on contributing to the team's success, highlighting a professional and team-oriented attitude.

As the Dutch team prepares for the crucial match against England, Van de Ven's willingness to step up and his recognition of the strengths of his teammates, Nathan Aké and Virgil van Dijk, underline the depth and unity within the squad. His acknowledgment of Saka's abilities and the potential challenges ahead adds a layer of anticipation to the upcoming semifinal, showcasing the strategic considerations the team must address.

Updated: 11:43, 8 Jul 2024

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