Vicente Besuijen: The inside story of how Aberdeen won race for winger and what he brings to the team

To say Vicente Besuijen’s arrival at Aberdeen came out of left field would be an understatement. For those Dons fans battering his name into Google and Wikipedia, he wasn’t even in the vicinity of the field.

The club, however, were well aware of the 20-year-old Colombian-born winger who has joined from ADO Den Haag in the Netherlands.

A young, exciting talent who has the potential to grow at Pittodrie is exactly the type of recruit they are on the hunt for, reaffirming the club's ambition to become the “best developer of talent”.

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The groundwork for his signature was laid by the club’s head of recruitment Darren Mowbray and his team with Besuijen having impressed as a teenager in the Eredivisie last season and the Dutch second tier this campaign.

Vicente Besuijen has signed for Aberdeen. (Photo by Angelo Blankespoor/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Aberdeen ultimately won the race for Besuijen ahead of competition from Scotland and around Europe.

“It means you’re looking at the right people and you want people to want to come to your club,” manager Stephen Glass said.

"He’s shown a clear desire to. You want to be the team that gets players when players have choices.

“The recruitment team, headed up by Darren Mowbray, and the staff started looking at him and decided that he’s the one that we wanted to go for. He has a good number of games for a young player, a good pedigree.

Besuijen had a good relationship with Thomas Verheijdt. (Photo by Angelo Blankespoor/Soccrates/Getty Images)

“We feel like this is a great place for him to continue his development. He’ll really help us and we’ll help him in his career.”

Quick, direct and dribbles

Glass believes Besuijen, a Dutch youth international, will play a “big part” going forward but due to a work permit Dons fans won’t get to see him against St Mirren on Tuesday night.

The former Roma youth star can play across the attack but is most dangerous playing from the left, cutting onto his right. He’s quick, with a robust, low centre of gravity, useful for holding off opponents.

He is a player who wants to dribble. He does so 8.23 times per 90 minutes, twice as often as Ryan Hedges, while he can create and score with a combined 11 goals and assists in the league this season.

He possesses deft link-up play and had a good relationship with Den Haag target man Thomas Verheydt.

Besuijen would deliver crosses for the striker from either side, while also looking to get close to Verheydt, a good sign for playing with Christian Ramirez.

Market focus

There is a focus at Aberdeen on different markets to supplement domestic arrivals, the club keen to unearth players rivals may not be aware of.

“The way it’s going, there’s a head of recruitment in Darren who has a drive towards trying to find players that people aren’t looking at,” he said.

“You still find you’re competing with clubs in this country and in Europe.

“There is a little bit of a tradition of Dutch players coming over and it’s a market that Darren feels we can tap into. He does a lot of work in Europe. He’s done less than he would have liked to because of Covid.

“But I think it shows the intent of the club to add young, developing talent to the group and club that can be of value to the team and the club moving forward."

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