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Ranking Roma’s Youth, #4: Rick Karsdorp

Kevin Strootman’s new best friend will aim for a starting role when he returns to full fitness

Feyenoord v Southampton - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images

At this point in the countdown the players being mentioned are almost certain to have an integral role in the club’s plans this season, whether it be as a regular starter or a key substitute. Rick Karsdorp, who was signed earlier in the summer from Dutch side Feyenoord for €14 million upfront plus €5 million in the future, looks set to battle Bruno Peres for the starting role at right back when he returns to full fitness. Roma’s latest right back of the future comes in at number four in this season’s countdown.

Number Four: Rick Karsdorp

Age: 22

Position: Right Back

Prior Club: Feyenoord (Netherlands)

Current Club: Roma

Rank Last Year: N/A

Future Comparison: Juanfran

Who Is He?

Dutch Rick Sanchez was born in Schoonhoven, Netherlands, a small city located on the banks of the Lek River. Famous Dutch club Feyenoord, located just east of Schoonhoven in the city of Rotterdam, lured Karsdorp away from his local youth club in 2004. Upon arrival Karsdorp quickly ascended the club’s youth ranks, making his senior team debut in a 2014 UEFA Champions League 3rd Round Qualifier at just 19 years old.

The Dutch international played sparingly to start the 2014 campaign, but won the starting role by the end of the season. In 2015, Karsdorp had somewhat of a breakout season for a right back, totaling 10 assists in 29 league appearances. Last season he suffered a sophomore slump, scoring one goal and only grabbing four assists.

What Can He Do?

By the numbers Pickle Rick is an attacking right back who loves to get forward on the pitch and attempt some long balls and crosses. He often uses his blistering pace to create space for himself on offense.

Unlike Bruno Peres, or any of Roma’s other right backs really, Karsdorp seems to be more accurate with his crossing, which must have striker Edin Dzeko salivating. Karsdorp also has the tools to become a great defender, showcasing discipline rarely seen in defenders of his age. While tackling is a weakness of Slick Rick’s (aerial duels too for some reason), he more than makes up for it with a word that hasn’t been uttered around these parts for quite a while: grinta.

What Can He Become?

He can become Roma’s starting right back for the next few years until he inevitably gets sold for a profit. Or he could follow in midfielder Kevin Strootman’s steps, who also came to Roma from the Eredivisie. Either way it should be fun having Karsdorp around for the foreseeable future, as he seems like a player who wears his heart on his sleeve. Romanisti love that.