Reijnders highlights area to improve and clarifies position: “I’m box-to-box”

By Oliver Fisher -

Tijjani Reijnders is now getting ready for a quarter-final after helping the Netherlands get past Romania, but he insisted that there are areas he knows he must improve.

Donyell Malen scored twice off the bench Cody Gakpo got another goal Euro 2024 to help the Netherlands beat Romania and make the final eight of the tournament for the first time since 2008.

They came up against a spirited opponent that were – along with others like Georgia and Slovenia – contenders for the story of the tournament, but they ultimately brushed them aside with a clinical display.

Reijnders has earned praise from the media and was likened to a ‘vending machine’ by one newspaper for the way he distributed the ball, and now a game against Turkey awaits at the weekend.

The midfielder spoke to UEFA.com after the game to reflect on another memorable night for the Oranje, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.

“I think we made up for the last match [the defeat against Austria] and showed what we really are. We talked to each other in the dressing room and today we wanted to show what level we can reach. It was a demonstration of what we can do,” he said.

“We played with an extra midfielder because our right winger went inside and we tried to find passes between the lines. I think we did a good job, with the midfield and also with our central defenders.

“My performance? That’s what I like to do, run forward with the ball and shoot, only next time I have to score… I’m a box-to-box player: sometimes I carry the ball, sometimes I put our strikers in the right position. That’s how I can help the team.”

Tags AC Milan Tijjani Reijnders

16 Comments

  1. Had a good game against Romania, but they are hardly a worthy adversary. Gonna watch him against the low-block Turks.

    He does well driving forward. His defending comes up short so I’d push him up more into a Kaka role and put proper DM’s behind him.

  2. That’s why we need to get a goddamn DM, not play Reijnders there, maybe he can work I in a double pivot but only with a strong defensive partner next to him, like Wieffers

  3. Him in a double pivot role is a waste of his potential. Either a box to box in 433 or an advanced playmaker in 4231.

    But in any case he needs to be braver and more bald in his vertical play.

    1. 100%

      I don’t know if “braver” is the word I would use but I would love to see him develop more and advance his game.

      I’m OK if he doesn’t force passes that aren’t there.

  4. No, you are not box to box.
    You are a pure mezzala. The only position you can play is in 433 in central midfield. You can not defend enough to be called box to box.

  5. I think Reijnders is excellent but with two caveats: he is definitely not a DM and should never be placed in that role (that’s on a manager, not on him); and his finishing is atrocious. He very rarely finishes on target. He needs to train and train and train, in order to finish better. If Reijnders were able to shoot on target most times, he’d be a world class player.

  6. I don’t know why folks are so obsessed with his finishing. As long as he creates play, attacks open spaces and supports our attackers, that’s enough for me.

    Ever since Seedorf left (my all time favourite player), we miss someone who’d do it. Reijnders is no Seedorf but with the right coach who’ll acknowledge his advances, he can do a lot more than he’s showing.

    1. Yes, but he would make so much more of a complete player with a better shooting accuracy. You can tell he has the sensational goals in him. I remember Seedorf’s rockets.

      1. Managers should literally ban him from taking a shot. Its not going to improve at this stage. He runs the show otherwise and is doing great at the Euros.

  7. Why do agents ask for a 15 million euro commission when a player can score? Simple, it can’t be taught or learned. It is a skill and mindset you either have, or don’t. Coaches don’t teach players how to put a ball in the net when it matters. They develop everything else that leads to the moment a player has an opportunity, then it is the player who has to convert.

    You can improve your finishing a bit, but it isn’t something that will appear in a players arsenal if a solid foundation wasn’t already there by predisposition. It is a very rare skill to have in compairson to all others in the sport.

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