If there is one league that has seen the monopoly of a single team, it is the Bundesliga. For the past ten years, the league has seen only one winner; FC Bayern Munchen. However, Bayern Munich, for the first time in a long time, have been challenged by two teams, their biggest rival, Borussia Dortmund, and the new powerhouses Union Berlin whose rise has been an inspiring tale of immense hard work, an unwavering fan base and a never say die attitude.
Promoted to the Bundesliga only in 2019, Union Berlin has become a force to reckon with a mix of youth and experience. And centre-back Danilho Doekhi is a name that has been among their top performers this season. The Dutchman only joined the club in the summer but has taken to the new surroundings like a duck to water.
And his impressive displays are one of the reasons why Union Berlin have been so brilliant this season. So, who is Danilho Doekhi, and how good is he?
How good is Danilho Doekhi?
Danilho Doekhio was born on June 30, 1998, in Rotterdam, Netherlands. At the age of six, he joined the local club, Xerxes. After spending two years, he switched to Excelsior, where he would spend the next ten years and became one of the most sought-after youngsters in the Dutch football system. He would also make his debut for the Excelsior senior team on March 6, 2016.
And when Ajax came calling in 2016, Doekhi wasted no time joining them. He would spend two years in their reserves before leaving for Vitesse. Just like Ajax, he initially played in their reserve side before making his debut for the senior team on September 30, 2018, against Feyenoord.
For the next four years, he would make 140 games scoring five goals and providing assists. While Doekhi was not an extraordinary defender, what made him special was his impressive ability to do the basics right without making an error. This was a significant reason Union Berlin signed him in the summer to boost their defences.
And Doekhi has not disappointed straight away, forming a solid three-man backline with Diogo Leite and Robin Knoche.
Danilho Doekhi has been linked for what must be the third time with Rangers, now more pertinent than ever given his contractual status. Only 23, evidently talented, and the current Vitesse captain, an apt replacement for Goldson. I've supported this idea since August. pic.twitter.com/BwAPGaEbPo
— Patrick Caskie (@patrickcaskie) January 3, 2022
Danilho Doekhi stats
After sitting on the bench for the first three matches of the league season, Deokhi finally got his chance against Schalke. And the Dutchman didn’t disappoint, helping his team win the match 6-1 and also providing an assist in the process. He also struggled with injuries during his initial days but has played every minute of the season since the World Cup.
While it took 140 matches for him to score five goals, he has already reached four goals this season. What is even more impressive is that all goals have come from headers. This makes him the highest-scoring defender in the top five leagues from headers.
Doekhi is also a beast defensively, winning 1.44 tackles per 90 minutes, according to fbref. This puts him in the top eight percentile of defenders. He is also among the top ten defenders in Bundesliga when it comes to Expected Assists from Open Play which shows that he is also impressive in the attacking third.
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Danilho Doekhi scout report
Data analytics site Soccerment has described Danilho Doekhi as a first-line breaker which perfectly explains Danilho Doekhi. The Dutchman plays on the right side of Union Berlin’s three-man backline and is the usual target of goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow who passes the ball to him to start the team’s Play.
Among all the three defenders, Doekhi is the one who is unfazed by the ball at his feet. This, combined with his impressive passing style, more often than not helped Union Berlin play over an attacking counter press from the opposition.
2 – Danilho Doekhi is the first Dutch player with two headed goals in a Bundesliga game since Klaas Jan Huntelaar in April 2013. Tower. pic.twitter.com/oeYkNZkgKW
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) January 21, 2023
The Dutchman can also cover a lot of ground quickie, which means he can help out his team both defensively and offensively. His two assists in the season are an excellent example of that.
Doekhi is a modern-day centre-back who has come into his own this season, and the best part is he is nowhere close to his prime, which means that big clubs will already be looking to pounce for his signing.
Danilho Doekhi transfer news
Whether Union Berlin wins the Bundesliga or not, Danilho Doekhi will be a name that will be doing rounds when the summer transfer window opens. It is because any new rising team does face the prospect of losing their best players following an impressive season.
And if Union Berlin do face such prospects, then Deokhi will be a name on the top of the list of top clubs. While currently, there are no substantial efforts from any club, but the situation could change come summer.
For now, though, Danilho Doekhi must work hard and ensure Union Berlin complete a fairy teal by winning the Bundesliga.