Ton Lokhoff makes his return to the NAC Breda bench, after his first experience between 2003 and 2005, winning at home against Jong PSV Eindhoven. The experienced coach and technical collaborator, with an important past at VFL Wolfsburg, chooses to deploy a rather defensive 4-4-2 to face Adil Ramzi’s selection. The guests take the field with a similar lineup, but with a much more offensive approach. Jong PSV took the lead in the early stages of the match through Jason van Duiven, but NAC Breda overturned the result thanks to “Ody” Velanas and Jort van der Sande in the first half.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Dutch/Sierra Leonean
- Age: 17
- Date of Birth: 6/4/2005
- Current Club: Jong PSV Eindhoven
- Career: PSV Eindhoven/ N.E.C. Nijmegen/SV Hatert
- Position: Left Winger
- Secondary Position: Attacking Midfield
- Preferred Foot: Right
Isaac Babadi played the entire game as a supportive striker along with Van Duinen in the 4-4-2 designed by Adil Ramzi. Babadi did not play a particularly brilliant and flashy match, but the Jong PSV talent showed off a high-level technical repertoire.
Babadi immediately catches the eye of how he always gives a lot of dynamism to the team. The Jong PSV talent often tries to dictate the pace and speed up play, proving to be a highly modern player in wanting to unhinge teams that play with a low defensive block. Babadi is an associative footballer who does not disdain dialogue with his teammate and manages to be effective in different areas of the field.
In the match against NAC Breda, Babadi played a role that I do not find particularly congenial to him, so during large stretches of the match he was not very present in terms of offensive cuts behind the defence or deep movements to attack space. Although NAC was conceding field on its left flank, Babadi always preferred to wait for Bakayoko or Tielemans for a series of dangerous triangles on the narrow side than trying to squeeze between the opposing lines. In particular, I found very effective the continuous position exchange with Bakayoko that allowed Babadi to occupy the right lane and target in the one-on-one with NAC Breda’s left back.
In the build-up phase, however, Babadi was markedly more involved: the Jong PSV talent often came down to retrieve the ball, having it delivered directly to him by the defensive midfielders. At this juncture, Babadi’s excellent playmaking qualities and vision – highly developed considering his young age – were noticeable. This characteristic allows him not to be a one-dimensional footballer, but to add a repertory of possibilities to his plays on the outside and inside of the field.
Rating – A1
Isaac Babadi certainly did not enchant against NAC Breda, but despite a tricky match-he showed why his qualities are an object of rumours. Babadi appears to be one of the next hopes of Dutch football, especially in a role that seems to have been in deficit for years, namely that of a left winger with an inverted foot. His ability with the ball and his ability to be highly associative with teammates make him one of the Next Big Things in Dutch football.
Read the report on Luc Marijnissen here: