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5.47 interceptions per game: Versatile Charlton Athletic man in line for maiden Championship campaign

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Anfernee Dijksteel enjoyed an impressive breakthrough season at Charlton Athletic last term as he established himself in Lee Bowyer’s side’s defence during their promotion-winning campaign.

The 22-year-old forced his way into the side in early October after starting the season on the bench, and he did not look back as he quickly became an integral figure under Bowyer.

The Dutchman played in several positions during his 30 appearances last term, featuring at right-back, centre-back and right-midfield at various stages of the season.

Dijksteel’s performances have meant he will surely be on the team sheet when Charlton kick off their season next month, and Bowyer has even hinted that the club could be about to table him a new deal as a reward for his strong form.

The Addicks have already lost some big names from their squad this summer, with the likes of Patrick Bauer, Joe Aribo and loanee Krystian Bielik all departing The Valley. This means that Charlton’s other regular starters from last term will really need to step up to the mark for the club’s Championship return.

Here, we take a look at whether Dijksteel is one of those who can kick on in the Championship next season…

Dijksteel played a total of 2832 minutes across his 30 appearances last season which is a considerable increase on any previous season in his senior career. He only played nine times for the Addicks in the 2017/18 campaign, so the fact he was able to perform at a high level with such regularity in his breakthrough campaign is indicative of his quality.

He also recorded a pass accuracy of 83.8% last season which is an impressive percentage for a defender. It reflects the fact that Dijksteel is not only an effective defender, but he is also highly composed on the ball and is capable of providing a reassuring presence in the back four.

Dijksteel’s identity as a modern, ball-playing defender is also reflected in his average number of successful dribbles per game which stands at 3.4. This shows how Dijksteel is also strong going forward and can generate attacks from deep, while it also means he can be used in midfield and this is something Bowyer utilised last term. His speed has also helped him react quickly to loose balls and seen him record an average of 5.47 interceptions per game. This is another impressive statistic which further reveals that Dijksteel has a selection of clear strengths in his game.

The Dutchman does not have many noticeable weaknesses, but there are some areas in his game that can improve in the second tier. He recorded a total of 57 crosses last term and while this is not a poor number, it could be higher based on how often he is able to break forward. He will be looking to improve this number last term by working on his positioning, while this could also help his tally of aerial duels won which currently stands at 37.6%. As an option at centre-back, this could definitely be higher and it should be something he is working on ahead of his second-tier debut.


ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 5.47 interceptions per game: Versatile Charlton Athletic man in line for maiden Championship campaign

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