Danilho Doehki: How Rangers' Dutch target could help van Bronckhorst 'keep the zero'
Danilho Doehki has been mentioned in the same breath as Rangers for nine months now – and the Dutch defender has recently addressed links to the Scottish champions.
The change in manager from Steven Gerrard to Giovanni van Bronckhorst did not slow the rumour mill either, indeed the Dutch connection and knowledge of the Eredivisie has stoked the speculation further.
But more than simple shared nationality, the 23-year-old has a philosophy that mirrors the mantra of the Rangers manager after coming to the Ibrox club’s attention last year.
Since arriving back in Scotland van Bronckhorst has emphasised the importance of “keeping the zero” and it’s something Doekhi stresses too. Asked a year ago to describe his game the Vitesse captain said he was a “defender who wants to eliminate his man and prevent goals. A clean sheet is important,” – as it has been to van Bronckhorst over the past two months.
Doekhi has the statistics that back-up that shared philosophy too which have apparently alerted Ross Wilson to the nephew of renowned Dutch international Winston Bogarde.
He helped Vitesse to ten clean sheets in a competitive Eredivisie last season including against Feyenoord who they finished above, in fourth. SBV occupy the same position at the halfway stage this term.
Head coach Thomas Letsch rates Doekhi as ‘one of the best defenders in the league’ – and he was ranked in the league’s top 20 for both tackles made (64) and clearances (91).
A right-footed centre-back like Connor Goldson but six years his junior, both have a contract expiring this year and similar statistics. Doekhi shades this season’s passing accuracy comparison in all areas, bar Goldson’s trademark long ball, according to Sofascore and makes more interceptions and tackles per match, albeit for a team who are attacked more than Rangers will be.
Like his uncle, Ajax-trained Doehki played at Excelsior, before moving to Vitesse where his performances and figures are now attracting attention.
Newcastle United were rumoured to be interested, pre-takeover last summer, but six months on Dinamo Zagreb and Eredivisie league leaders PSV Eindhoven have seen enough in the defender's performances to join his growing list of suitors. Rangers have been there for a while, and Doehki has admitted “when a big club comes up with a good plan, it’s difficult to say no.”
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