Football Features

Tottenham stats: How Micky van de Ven has turned into one of the signings of the season

By Callum Rice-Coates

Published: 17:45, 15 May 2024 | Updated: 18:14, 19 May 2024

Micky van de Ven has enjoyed a superb first season in the Premier League.

The Dutch defender arrived at Tottenham from Wolfsburg in the summer with big expectations but has proved even better than anticipated.

In a Tottenham side that has occasionally struggled defensively, Van de Ven has rarely put a foot wrong.

And he has without doubt been one of the signings of the season, kicking off what Tottenham fans will hope is a successful new era under Ange Postecoglou.


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Rolls Royce

An important quality for any player in a Postecoglou team is the ability to retain possession.

Few have been better in that regard than Van de Ven, who ranks second in the Premier League — behind Chelsea’s Thiago Silva — for passing accuracy (94.4%) among players with a minimum of 1,000 minutes played.

Even more impressively, 88.1% of his passes have been played into the final third, evidence of his tendency to look forward rather than choose the safe option.

Van de Ven immediately looked comfortable in the Tottenham backline, playing the ball out confidently and rarely, if ever, making mistakes, despite the high-risk nature of Postecoglou’s style.

Modern defender

Far from the traditional Premier League centre-backs of old, Van de Ven’s most eye-catching attributes are his technical quality and raw pace.

He is also positionally intelligent, ranking first among Tottenham players for successful offside traps (28).

No player in the team has a better tackle success rate (70.83%) than Van de Ven, who has repeatedly made recovery runs, using his explosive speed to snuff out potentially dangerous attacks.

“It’s not just about running fast,” Postecoglou said of Van de Ven in February. “Football is more than that, more than the speed of running. You’ve actually got to use that in the right way.”

The Netherlands international has certainly done that since his move to North London.

Key man

Van de Ven has not had everything his own way in his debut Premier League campaign.

The 23-year-old has missed 11 league games through injury, with an extended spell on the sidelines in November and December.

And the numbers during his absences tell a story: with Van de Ven in the side, Tottenham have conceded 1.52 goals per 90 minutes; without him, they have let in 1.82 goals per 90.

The aim next season will be to tighten up at the back, with Van de Ven helping his side to just four clean sheets in 26 league appearances.

If Tottenham do break into the top four and compete for silverware in the coming seasons, the Dutchman is likely to be a key figure at the back.