Jannik Vestergaard is, in soccer terms, a giant. Nearly two meters tall (6’5” for us American folks), he has carved out for himself a solid career in Germany’s top flight. At 25 years old, he has been a regular starter in the league for three years and has been a regular contributor for seven. In fact, in the 2017 calendar year, he played every single minute available to him for Borussia Mönchengladbach.
The speculated fee for this transfer has been about £12-14m, and the other Premier League club in for him has been reported as Southampton, who were also linked in the chase for Ben Gibson. Vestergaard is with Denmark at the World Cup but he has yet to make an appearance.
Vestergaard isn’t just height, he’s also a good passer of the ball, completing 85% of his passes and a good tackler completing 78% of those attempts. About 50% of his missed passes are long attempts, which Jannick plays quite often. To complete as high a percentage of passes as he does while averaging 10 long passes a game is impressive.
I’m not really sure why Vestergaard isn’t higher rated. I think he’s an extremely competent starting caliber defender. There’s no gaping flaw that scares me. I don’t think he’s going to be a dominant player or anything, but if the transfer fee meets speculation I am not sure you can expect to find much better for the price on a player who is just approaching his prime.
There’s a minimal amount of smoke surrounding this one so far, so I’m not getting my hopes up, but I think this would be an intelligent buy. Vestergaard would give us a competent starter who is younger than 35 to pair with Michael Keane which we do not currently have. It wouldn’t be the most athletic CB pairing on earth, but the technical ability would be high and I think it would be reliable defensively.
Normally, I see us competing with a club like Southampton for a player and I eye roll, because we’re better than that. But in this case I honestly feel like there’s a really good buy here that’s being missed by most clubs. Maybe I’m wrong, but he’s a proven player in a top three league in the world who has experience playing in European competition. It checks all the boxes for me.