The best XI of current footballers with de or De in their names

The best XI of current footballers with de or De in their names


Chelsea are hoping to reunite forming Ajax team-mates Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong at Stamford Bridge this summer.

De Jong has long been a target for Erik ten Hag at Manchester United but Chelsea are keen to hijack the move and it got us at Planet Sport thinking: could we make a decent team made up entirely of players with the preposition of or De (meaning of) in their names.

We’ve given it a try.

Goalkeeper – David de Gea (Manchester United)

We’ve got a decent keeper at least. De Gea has been at Old Trafford since 2011, clocking up 377 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils. He was back to his best last season, playing every single minute of the campaign and picking up United’s players’ player of the season award.

Right-back – Mattio De Sciglio (Juventus)

De Sciglio has fallen out of favor with Italy having made 40 appearances for the Azzurri earlier in his career.

However, the 29-year-old is still a Serie A staple, making 20 appearances for Juventus last season and four in the Champions League. He has signed a new deal with the Old Lady, keeping him at the Allianz Stadium until 2025.

Centre-back – Matthijs De Ligt (Juventus)

At least the right-back and centre-back should have a good understanding having played alongside each other last season.

Twenty-two-year-old De Ligt is expected to join Chelsea this summer in a deal reported to be worth £76.5million, though Manchester United remain interested. Maybe De Ligt and De Jong will end up at Old Trafford with De Gea…

Centre-back – Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan)

Another international, De Vrij made 30 appearances for Inter in Serie A last season and six in the Champions League, scoring once.

Has clocked up 58 appearances for Netherlands, featuring in their most recent Nations League encounters and captaining the side in the clash in Wales.

Left-back – Laurens De Bock (Zulte Waregem)

The first weak link in our side, De Bock does have some international experience having represented Belgium at under-16 through to under-21 level. He has also been called up to the senior squad but has yet to make an appearance.

Now at Zulte Waregam, where he spent last season on loan, the left-back endured a torrid time at Leeds United who he joined from Club Brugge in 2018.

His debut was a 4-3 defeat to Millwall and he went on to feature in six more games for the then Championship side, none of which were won. A 2-2 draw with Derby proved particularly chastening with the Belgian at fault for the Rams opener and constantly gifting possession to the opposition.

He featured just once more for Leeds before being shipped out on a series of loans, finally finding a home in the Belgian top flight.

Midfield – Frenkie De Jong (Barcelona)

We’ve got some serious talent in midfield so someone is going to miss out as we’re going ultra traditional with a 4-4-2 formation. We’re going to let them fight it out for their exact positions but you’d imagine De Jong would take a central role.

Last season, De Jong topped the list for the highest take-on success rate compared to any other player in the top five leagues in Europe with 85%.

Comfortable in possession, with great vision, but also capable of doing the defensive stuff – he has previously been employed as a ball-playing centre-back – he is expected to command a fee of around £60million.

Midfield – Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

Kevin De Bruyne celebrates for Manchester City

De Jong’s fee is £5million more than Manchester City paid for De Bruyne in 2015, which at the time was the second most expensive signing in Premier League history.

He has made that fee look like a steal, however, helping City to four Premier League titles and claiming two Premier League Player of the Year awards, the most recent coming last term.

Midfield – Donny van de Beek (Man Utd)

Donny van de Beek Everton Mar22

Van de Beek makes our XI despite a less than impressive start to his Premier League career.

The Dutch midfielder racked up 28 goals and 24 assists in 118 Eredivisie appearances to earn a move to Manchester United. However, he has yet to convince at Old Trafford and was loaned out to Everton where his spell was dogged by injury.

The appointment of fellow Dutchman Erik ten Hag offers Van de Beek a fresh start at United, though.

Midfield – Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid)

Atletico de Madrid's Rodrigo de Paul (front) celebrates his goal during the La Liga match

De Paul offers us a little bit of versatility in the midfield, with the 28-year-old able to play off either wing, as well as through the center where he starred for Udinese.

Has 41 caps for Argentina and set up the winning goal for Angel Di Maria (a cert for our team with Di in their names) in the 2021 Copa America final.

Forward – Raúl de Tomas (Espanyol)

De Tomas was called up for Spain for the first time in 2021 following a stunning October for Espanyol which saw him score in four consecutive La Liga matches (a feat he also repeated later in the season).

He went on to finish the campaign with 17 goals to finish joint second in the La Liga goalscoring charts behind Karim Benzema.

Forward – Luuk de Jong

Capped 38 times by the Netherlands, De Jong will be hoping a return to PSV helps him rediscover the form which saw him score 94 goals in 159 appearances in his first spell with the Dutch giants.

The 31-year-old only scored seven goals in 29 appearances for Barcelona on loan last season but was rarely a starter, racking up just 936 minutes in all competitions.

He’d get more for our team, though we still have a few decent options off the bench, including Dani de Wit, Marten de Roon and emerging Botafogo midfielder Patrick de Paula.

READ MORE:
Tottenham close to completing fifth signing of summer as Clement Lenglet loan deal inches closer



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