Heerenveen-back Van Ewijk is fastest premier league player, but no Dumfries yet

Heerenveen-back Van Ewijk is fastest premier league player, but no Dumfries yet

NOS Football

Milan van Ewijk is the fastest soccer player in the premier league, but in his soccer career he is taking the steps a little slower.

The right back of sc Heerenveen played with the amateurs a few years ago and likes to mirror the career of his great example: Dutch national Denzel Dumfries.

Heerenveen right back Van Ewijk likes to emulate Dumfries

First about that speed: 34.66 kilometers per hour was measured in a sprint by Van Ewijk earlier this season. No player in the premier league is faster, the figures say. Van Ewijk himself looks at it modestly.

“There are always those who are faster. I saw that sprint in the Europa League by St. Juste against Arsenal yesterday. That’s one too,” said Van Ewijk, who added that he has been faster in training on occasion.

Could he handle Kylian Mbappé, another jet-setter on the pitch? “I think he is another level up,” Van Ewijk laughs. “I would like to see what it would be like to face him one day. But I have to do my best to get to that level first.”

Right winger with no return

Van Ewijk was not always so fast. At a young age, the Amsterdam native transferred from Zeeburgia to the youth of Feyenoord, where he was sent away as a 16-year-old.

“My whole family had moved with me, they gave up their jobs and friends for me. And after six years you get the painful message that you’re not good enough. Which was justified. I was still a right winger with no return then. And I had problems growing.”

“My speed was also my weapon then. But if everyone grows faster than you, they become equally fast and you have no weapon and no use.”

Eredivisie Science: Milan van Ewijk is the speed demon of the premier league

Van Ewijk took a step back, to Excelsior Maassluis in the Second Division, where he was retrained to right back after a while. “We thought, let’s try it. I could defend nicely and I could correct a lot with my speed.”

It turned out to be a bull’s-eye. Via ADO Den Haag, a rental period at SC Cambuur and again ADO, he signed a contract with Heerenveen in 2021, where the up-and-coming right back is already good for five goals this season.

Dumfries chasing

It is a career somewhat reminiscent of fellow right back Dumfries, who ended up at Heerenveen via the amateurs of Barendrecht and Sparta. Dumfries’ career then went via PSV to Internazionale. That’s why Van Ewijk likes to watch Dumfries.

“We have kind of the same career, we’re going in the same direction and I hope to go further in his direction as well. Not necessarily to PSV or Italy though. I’m only 22, still have quite a way to go to get to that level. But I’m willing to work hard for it and give it my all.”

  • AFP

    Denzel Dumfries
  • ANP

    Milan van Ewijk cheers after a goal against Excelsior in November

During the winter break there was already interest from Fulham and Sporting Lisbon for the four-time Dutch national. Van Ewijk himself would like to spread his wings next summer. “I try to stay on the route I have in my head. My ambition is to make that step and I’m trying to develop myself to be ready for that step.”

Perhaps it would be an idea to ask Dumfries himself for advice? “I could send him a message, I’ve spoken to him on Instagram on occasion. What he would say? I think: follow your heart, go by your gut. He seems like a wise man.”

Kayleigh Williams