ASEAN Scouting Report: Defenders

 

In the second of my series of articles on ASEAN scouting we look at defenders. To see the first article about goalkeepers, click here.

As I’m looking at players who Port could benefit from signing I’ve left out several full backs who would be fantastic signings for other T1 sides. These 5 players therefore are, with one outstanding exception, centre backs who I think could add strength in depth to our squad.

 


 

Jesper Nyholm

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿16.5m

Position: CB

Current Club: Free Agent

Nationality: Swedish-Filipino

Age: 26

Height: 1.83m

 

This is a risky one. Jesper Nyholm could potentially be a great signing for any team in T1, but there’s a catch. He suffered a horrific broken leg a couple of years ago, and hasn’t taken to the field since. His contract with AIK (Swedish first tier) has expired and he has been released, so he’s available on a free. Any team brave enough to bet on his fitness could be getting an excellent European defender for nothing, but there’s a chance that he doesn’t make it back on to the field at all if there are further injury complications. For a team with two open ASEAN quota spots, this could be a risk worth taking. This highlight reel is obviously from before his injury, and I strongly advise NOT looking for the video of the incident itself. I wish I hadn’t.

 

Nicholas Mickelson

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿10m

Position: RB

Current Club: Strømsgodset IF

Nationality: Norwegian-Thai

Age: 20

Height: 1.85m

 

OK, so we don’t exactly need a right back, but this fella looks like a great prospect, and he’s half Thai. Already playing in Norway’s top tier at the tender age of 20, Micklelson’s season was unfortunately cut short by an Achilles tendon injury, but it’s not the kind of career threatening injury to worry any interested suitors. Port could even think about playing the youngster further up the pitch at right wing. It certainly looks from his highlight reel as though he’s not scared to throw step-overs around. He’s got a monster of a throw-in on him, too. Whether or not he’d consider leaving the country of his birth is another question, as he signed a 3 year contract in January 2019, and will probably fancy having another crack at getting in to the first team when he’s fully recovered from his injury. Still, there’s no doubt that top Thai teams will be in for him if the chance arises, so Port would do well to be keeping tabs.

 

Justin Baas

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿1.5m

Position: CB

Current Club: AZ Alkmaar U21 (Dutch second tier)

Nationality: Dutch-Filipino

Age: 19

Height: 1.85m

 

This big fella can play in central defence or defensive midfield, and at just 19 would be a quality acquisition, adding squad depth in in the short term and the potential to be a top ASEAN defender in the near future. He’s playing for AZ Alkmaar’s youth team, and has already been capped by The Philippines. Here’s his highlight reel.

 

Carli de Murga

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: ฿1.5m

Position: CB/RB

Current Club: Ceres Negros

Nationality: Spanish-Filipino

Age: 30

Height: 1.80m

 

The most experienced player on the list and the only one with experience playing club football in Asia, signing Carli de Murga guarantees a solid ASEAN centre half for little to no cash. He’s got a boat load of international caps, and he will need little time to adapt to Thai football. He’s not young, but at 30 probably still has a few useful years ahead of him. Also a captain for club and country on many occasions, de Murga would offer the kind of leadership which Thai players often lack. Here’s his highlight reel.

 

Maximilian Steinbauer

 

 

Transfermarkt Value: –

Position: CB

Current Club: FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin U19

Nationality: German/Thai

Age: 18

Height: 1.86m

 

This is a speculative one, but again he’s half-Thai so the potential rewards make it a smart move. Steinbauer can play centre back or left back, and would be one for a future in a position in which Port have adequate cover at the moment. If we don’t snap up these players then the likes of Bangkok United and Buriram will no doubt pounce at some point, so it makes sense to bring in youngsters, even if not all of them end up making the grade. I haven’t even seen the lad play as his agency has made a dog’s breakfast of this highlight reel, which doesn’t actually highlight who he is at any point.

 


 

For inquiries about other players I’ve looked at in the research for this article, send me an email at earlsy@outlook.com

 

Tom Earls

Tom Earls

Having moved to Thailand aged 10, Tom has been playing or watching football in Thailand for more than 18 years. A keen follower of the Thai National Team and an avid fan of Port FC, he is a regular contributor to The Sandpit.

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3replies
  1. FC SIPA says:

    Great read! However, we Filipinos are hoping Justin Baas stays in Europe. He just signed his pro contract with AZ Alkmaar and is looking to break the first team. He’s getting good international exposure from us so that will help him. We consider him as one of our futures, a wonderkid perhaps, and going back here in Asia would be a downgrade for him.

    Reply

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