Hertha Berlin are already shaping up to be one of the Bundesliga’s most intriguing sides next season with serious moves being made by the capital club to project themselves to the upper levels in both German and European football. Serious money is being invested with Dutch right back Deyovaisio Zeefuik the latest addition to Bruno Labbadia’s squad.
As soon as the 2019-20 Bundesliga season ended Hertha’s management identified areas of the squad they intended to strengthen before the new season. A new right back was on the list of priorities and 22-year-old Zeefuik from Eredivisie side Groningen was quickly pinpointed as the man they wanted. Now they have him, although for a while it looked like he had wriggled off the hook and was going to be ‘the one that got away’.
The player was keen and personal terms looked to have been agreed, only for his agent to push him towards Premier League side Southampton, who were offering a higher wage (and presumably a higher fee for the agent). Zeefuik however is now officially a Hertha player.
“With Deyovaisio we have a passionate professional who enjoyed an excellent football education in Amsterdam and who has already proven himself both at club level and in the Dutch national teams. We are delighted that he has decided to take the next step in his career with us, ” Michael Preetz explained on the signature of the right-back.
“Hertha BSC showed me a clear plan from the start in our talks and went to great lengths to help me. The club’s ambitions match my own” the player himself added.
The full back came up through the youth ranks at Ajax and made it all the way into the first team making six league appearances in the 2017-18 season before joining Groningen (originally on loan, before a permanent €300,000 deal). Over the past two seasons with the Trots van het Noorden he has made 73 appearances, scoring once, and providing six assists.
So, what are Hertha getting for their money?
Zeefuik is first and foremost a defensive full back. His stocky, powerful frame means he is very difficult to beat. He ranked third overall in last season’s Eredivisie for tackle made (56), and despite his large build is deceptive quick meaning he impresses in one-on-one situations as well as covering counter attacks.
He reads the game extremely well and is adept at spotting the danger when fellow defenders are out of position and his pace allows him to cover well. He is aggressive in the tackle but does give away a high number of fouls, and this is a part of his game he needs to work on.
He does like to get forward and contributes a high number of dribbles down the right-hand side, but an aspect of his game that needs work is his final delivery. He is an extremely hard-working, passionate player, who gives his all to the cause and Hertha fans should take to him very quickly if he can replicate his form for Groningen at the Olympiastadion.
He will compete with Peter Pekarik for the right back berth in Bruno Labbadia’s team with Lukas Klünter tipped for a move away from Berlin. With Lucas Tousart arriving and Alexander Schwolow signed in goal from Freiburg this summer already, the signing of Zeefuik looks to be another part of the Hertha jigsaw falling into place.
Interesting times ahead for die Alte Dame.