Branco van den Boomen in the Ligue 1 test – Café Crème Sport

The best player and real sensation in Ligue 2 last season, Branco van den Boomen has moved to the next level with the TFC. After nine days, the Dutch midfielder sparkles less than last year but is mounting pressure. A question of adaptation but also of role. To analyse.

On the banks of the Garonne, it was the question of the summer: would the TFC manage to keep Branco van den Boomen within its workforce after its rise within the elite of French football? And without the Dutchman’s name being mentioned in transfer rumors (his entourage is very discreet), he stayed at the club. But he still has not extended his contract which will expire in June 2023. “For my extension? No discussion for the moment, we will see later. With the World Cup there will be a new deadline,” assured the person concerned at the beginning of September at a press conference. See you in two months. After the departure of Pitchouns Nathan Ngoumou or Bafodé Diakité, President Damien Comolli and his teams managed to retain their best player, as well as Rhys Healey, the top scorer in Ligue 2, before he was seriously injured. But for what (first) assessment?

A changed role…

The transition from Ligue 2 to Ligue 1 involves difficulties. Even more for a player who arrives with the sign of « best player of last season ». Although watched like milk on fire by Ligue 2 defenses last year, Branco van den Boomen had managed to offer us an exceptional season, punctuated by 20 assists and 12 goals including memorable free kicks. With this status, the Dutchman knew he was expected for his debut. At 27, he experienced (very) high-level football for the first time. And without saying that the number 8 of the Violets disappointed or surprised, a first observation is to be made: van den Boomen does not play in the same way as last season.

While he played in three in the middle with Dejaegere and Spierings last season, the one who arrived for the modest sum of €350,000 from Graafschap (D2 Dutch), now only plays in two midfielders (except on weekends). -last end against Montpellier, we will come back to this). His coach, Philippe Montanier, made the choice, during a few games, to switch to three central defenders and removed one of his midfielders, in this case the Belgian Brecht Dejaegere. Which has a direct consequence on van den Boomen’s game. Less « free » than last season, lower on the pitch, more occupied with defensive tasks, the Dutchman can no longer concentrate on distributing the game as he did in Ligue 2. And even if the TFC wants to be a team player, the people of Toulouse have less of the ball between their feet than last year. Inevitably, the game of « VDB » suffers.

…Nevertheless essential

The use of Branco van den Boomen has changed, but not the player himself. Proof of his leadership, it is he who puts on the captain’s armband when Brecht Dejaegere is on the bench. Want more proof? The one who went through all the categories of young people in the national team played all of the first nine Ligue 1 matches. He forms with his Dutch compatriot Stijn Spierings a very complementary duo in midfield. The two men have known each other for more than two years now and have created excellent automatisms.

This season, despite his slight repositioning, van den Boomen continues to make his right foot and his remote passes do the talking. This is evidenced by the 24 chances created by the Dutchman since August. This places him second in the French championship behind a certain Neymar and his 25 chances created. And in eighth position within the 5 major championships. To continue to demonstrate that « VDB » is essential, two other statistics: 2.3 passes by van den Boomen are followed by a shot this season. The fifth best in Ligue 1. The number 8 of the TFC also made 52 forward passes during the first 8 days (5e best total in France). Beyond the numbers, it’s an impression: the former Ajax U21 is still just as dangerous with the ball at his feet. It is rather his teammates who improve these balloons less. Nevertheless, van den Boomen has delivered four caviars since the start of the season, including two in the victory against MHSC last Sunday at the Stadium. A first in a match for the one who wore the Violets jersey for the 90th time in his career.

Towards a rise?

So what to think (really) of this first part of the Dutchman’s season? We opt for the glass half full. Of course, van den Boomen is less decisive. But no one expected him to achieve the same performance as in Ligue 2 and deliver 20 assists in his first year in Ligue 1. A little further down the field, the Toulouse captain is no exception. no less dangerous. And some things lead us to think that the number 8 of the Violets will resume its momentum from last season. First, “VDB” had to recreate automatisms with his new teammates. Exit Healey and Ngoumou, place Dallinga, Abouklhal or the young Chaïbi. There will only be time to allow his players to get to know each other better.

Within a team that does not deny its principles, Branco van den Boomen is still on the apprenticeship scale of Ligue 1 and very high level. But his influence is such that his proportion to be decisive will only increase over the course of the season (we take bets). Evidenced by his last match in which Philippe Montanier renewed his midfielder at three. Van den Boomen delivered one of his most successful matches of this first part of the season if not his best. And even if he has not yet managed to reach his exceptional level of last season, his debut is good and no one can say the opposite. Seeing him a little higher on the field and less exhausted in defense as against Montpellier is necessarily synonymous with a better van den Boomen.

With four assists in eight games, van den Boomen is on a (potential) 10-12 season. Which would be very satisfying for a first season at the top level. Still, the Dutchman will have to manage an entire exercise in Ligue 1 and maintain a high level of performance in order to allow the Violets to maintain themselves. The beginnings are successful, it is up to him to continue at the same pace. The best player in Ligue 2 last season is more than capable of it. The meeting against Lyon will be another important test to pass.

Laisser un commentaire