Davy Klaassen is finally going to showcase his talent in Italy, as Serie A giants Inter Milan signed him on the transfer deadline day of summer 2023. Having started his career at Ajax, Klaassen moved to England in 2017 to play for Everton. After just one season with the Merseyside club, the Dutchman went to Germany and played for Werder Bremen for two seasons.
The 30-year-old returned to his native country and re-joined Ajax in 2020. With five Eredivisie titles to his name, Klaassen brings some experience to last season’s Champions League finalists’ midfield. Let’s take a look at some of the performances from last season that show how the Dutchman’s experience can be handy for Inter Milan’s Scudetto hopes.
A handy addition to midfield
Inter Milan play in a 3-5-2 formation with three centre-midfielders in the starting 11. Hakan Calhanoglu, Henrik Mkhitaryan, and Nicolo Barella have cemented their place in the midfield. Klaassen’s addition will add another experienced campaigner, and Inzaghi will have the option to rest his key players.
The Dutchman has a decent ability to create goals for his teammates. Last season, he averaged 32.8 passes per 90 minutes and had an 86% accuracy rate. These included 1.5 passes to the opposition penalty box with 62% accuracy. The above graph shows the progressive passes attempted by the player in 2022–23. These passes have been directed towards different corners, and this shows that Klaassen can be used on any side of the midfield three.
Getting into scoring positions
Teams that play with wing-backs are dependent on their midfielders to make box-penetrating runs and convert the crosses that are put into the opposition penalty box.
Inter Milan will be happy with the way Klaassen scored his nine goals last season. The above shot map shows the number of times Klaassen found space in the penalty box and took shots to score a goal.
The Dutchman averaged 1.35 shots per 90 minutes and had a 47.4% accuracy rate. He averaged 3.7 touches inside the opposition penalty box. All goals were scored from right in front of the goal, and the shots had a high average xG rate.
Before joining Inter, the 30-year-old played in goal for Ajax this season. He attempted three shots and had a 100% accuracy rate. Simone Inzaghi will depend on the goal-scoring ability of the player and hope that he becomes a difference-maker in big games.
One area where Klaassen can prove to be the difference-maker in making high recoveries These recoveries can become dangerous and often lead to goal-scoring opportunities.
In the last campaign, the Dutch midfielder averaged 6.8 recoveries per 90 minutes and managed to make 60% of them in the attacking half. A few recoveries came inside the opposition penalty box, and four of them led to a shot within the next 20 seconds.
It will be difficult for Klaassen to get regular game time at the start, but as the season passes, one can see him starting more matches for his new club. He could turn out to be a huge asset for the Nerazzurri.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine