Join the Scouting System Ep1: Donyell Malen
Think you can spot the next Lionel Messi, Frank Lampard, Nicolas Bendtner? At Pro:Direct Soccer we thrive on being the first in the know, with our eyes firmly on every corner of the footballing globe to find the future star of football.
Therefore, we welcome you to Episode One of our weekly feature we like to call; ‘Join the Scouting System’. Every seven days we’ll be delving deep into a one special talent who we believe will make it to the very top. Listen, we may get it wrong, we may even get it terribly wrong, but one thing we want to pride ourselves on is finding that hidden gem who, like the kids say, “are doing bits”!
Place of Birth: Wieringen, Netherlands
Current Club: PSV Eindhoven
Previous Clubs: VV Succes (04-05), HVV Hollandia (05-08), Ajax (08-15), Arsenal (15-17)
Position: Centre Forward
Strengths: Finishing, Dribbling, Hold Up Play, Long Shots.
Weaknesses: Defensive Contribution
Honestly, not just saying this, but we could be onto a winner already folks. If you don’t already know the name, then make sure you keep your eye on results in the Eredivisie and especially PSV Eindhoven, as Donyell Malen is a 20-year-old forward with a keen eye for goalscoring. Yet, at such a tender age Malen has already played for some prestigious football clubs.
Starting his career at Hollandia Youth, an indoor soccer club, he made a name for himself with supreme dribbling skills and a goalscoring record to match, this allowed Ajax to catch a glimpse of his talents and made the transfer to one of the world’s best academies at the age of 14.
Just 12 months on and a new challenge came calling for young Malen. So, he packed his bags and made his way to North London, where he spent 18 months at Arsenal, another highly rated academy which have values, vision and a similar style of play to Ajax. In his first season for the gunners, Malen notched up six goals and two assists in 19 games for Arsenal U18’s, yet it was his overall style of play which caught the eye. A two-footed player with vision and dribbling technique which made him more of a number 10 playing in a forward position.
At this stage in his youth career Malen was still just 17-years-old. Standing at a height of 5ft 8in, he may not be the tallest forward in world football or even the youth leagues for that matter, but Malen had something about him, his physical presence didn’t go unnoticed as the hussle and bussle style was plain to see.
A fast track to Arsenal’s U23 squad came quickly. A young teenager started to make a huge name for himself in England and especially at Arsenal, he then goes onto score 12 goals in 35 games for the U23’s and for a 17-year-old it certainly makes a noise. The versatile forward then starts to play in different positions to learn the game better. Out on the left, on the right and as an attacking midfielder, Malen proved he had what it took to play in several attacking roles.
Then, in 2017, Malen moves back to Holland, this time for PSV Eindhoven. A fee of £180K was payed by the Dutch club to Arsenal. At the time Malen was scoring almost a goal every game for Holland U19’s and it became apparent there was potential for a star to be born.
An 18-year-old dutchman playing in his home country for a top-class club started to bring more out the player. More experience, more confidence, higher expectations, Malen then goes onto score 13 goals in 28 games for PSV U21’s, his attacking versatility and goal scoring threat makes the first team stand up and watch.
And finally, the reason why we know Donyell Malen will make it to the top and become a serial baller. Just last season he jumped straight into the first team for PSV, the famous red and white stripes just looked right on him. In his first competitive senior season he played 42 times in all competitions, mainly from a left-wing position, scoring eleven and assisting five, all coming in the Eredivisie. His six appearances in the UEFA Champions League were a steppingstone to gain elite experience.
In this current season, Malen has taken his game to another level. At the age of 20 he is seen as one of the most prolific and dangerous forwards in the league. In 16 games he’s already scored 12 goals with 5 assists to his name, an incredible record at such a young age. But, even with his goalscoring threat, we can see this lad along going one way and that’s to the very top. The major leagues in Europe better keep an eye on his progress and he’ll be sought after.
Oh, one last thing, he’s already been capped by Holland twice and has scored against Germany so with all things going well you heard it here first. The Nike Mercurial Vapor his main weapon of choice.
You can shop the full PSV Eindhoven kit (home, away and third) online at prodirectsoccer.com