Flying linebacker Denzel Dumfries has never played in a five-a-side defense before, but after two outstanding performances in the Netherlands he is enjoying the new freedom it has given him.
Dumfries exploded to become one of the stars of the first week of Euro 2020, scoring the game-winning goal against Ukraine in the Netherlands opener and scoring again when they beat Austria 2-0 to finish first in Group C.
“I’m glad I was able to make a contribution,” he said at a press conference on Saturday. “I’m just playing my own game. In a different system than I’m used to, but which gives me an advantage. I have all the space to move forward and feel good.
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National coach Frank de Boer used the 5-3-2 system in the opening group matches and caused a stir in a country whose traditional 4-3-3 technique is almost sacred.
But the license he gave the 25-year-old to attack from the right-back justified De Boer’s decision.
Dumfries believes he will be able to play better with the Netherlands against North Macedonia in Amsterdam next Monday. “Being in a better position when I’m in possession, for example, to give myself more time. I also want to do more passes. There is still a lot of room for improvement. “
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Before the tournament, he had indicated that he was open to a new adventure after seven seasons in Eredivisie, including the last three at PSV Eindhoven.
Speculation about a possible move to a club in England, Germany or Italy has increased, according to media reports, but questions about his next destination have been politely declined.
“I’m not at all worried about this at the moment,” he told reporters. “If you don’t mind, I’m completely focused on this tournament.”