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Mainz defender Jeremiah St. Juste started 24 league games in 2019/20 and 32 the following season. - © 2019 DFL
Mainz defender Jeremiah St. Juste started 24 league games in 2019/20 and 32 the following season. - © 2019 DFL
bundesliga

Jeremiah St. Juste: Who is the fastest player in the Bundesliga in 2020/21 and Mainz's rock at the back?

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Jeremiah 'Jerry' St. Juste has been playing cat and mouse with opposition Bundesliga players since making the switch to Mainz in summer 2019. bundesliga.com has the skinny on the high-speed Dutchman...

Jeremiah St. Juste

Age: 24
Club: Mainz
Position: Centre-back
Country: Netherlands (9 U21 caps, 1 goal)

Born in Groningen, St. Juste came through the youth academy of fierce local rivals Heerenveen. 'Jerry', as he’s known by his teammates, spent 13 years with the club between the ages of seven and 20 before switching to Dutch giants Feyenoord. He made 50 appearances in total for the Rotterdam outfit, including five in the UEFA Champions League, and scored six goals.

St. Juste spent most of his time with Feyenoord at right-back, but has played the vast majority of his games for Mainz in the centre of defence. The 5'10" ex-Netherlands U21 international netted his maiden Bundesliga goal on Matchday 4 of the 2019/20 campaign, heading home from a corner against Hertha Berlin.

St. Juste at one stage clocked the fastest speed of any Bundesliga defender in 2019/20, with his eye-watering pace of 22.1mph only bettered in the end by Bayern Munich pair Alphonso Davies and Kingsley Coman.

Watch: Skip to 01:33 to relive St. Juste's first ever Bundesliga goal!

While Davies still holds the record as the fastest player in Bundesliga history, St. Juste did become the league's quickest player for the 2020/21 season. Maturing as a defender and winning more and more of his challenges in Mainz's strong second half of the campaign, he hit a top speed of 22.43 mph in a derby draw with Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 32.

Plays a bit like: Benjamin Pavard

St. Juste was given licence to roam at Feyenoord, and could often be be seen joining the attack in central areas in a manner typically associated with a box-to-box midfielder. His versatility has enabled him to make the transition from right- to centre-back at Mainz, drawing favourable comparisons with Bundesliga contemporary Benjamin Pavard - Bayern's French World Cup winner.

Did you know?

St Juste's move to the Bundesliga was something that he joked about with former Feyenoord teammate Jean-Paul Boetius while on holiday over the summer. Weeks later, the beachside banter became a reality.

The Mainz duo won the 2018 Dutch Cup and back-to-back Dutch Supercups during their time together in Rotterdam.

Jean-Paul Boetius (l.) and St. Juste (c.) became close friends whilst at Feyenoord in 2017/18. - imago/Pro Shots

What they're saying

"It really warmed my heart to see it. The super speed he has is one of Jer's qualities, and at that moment he showed it." Mainz head coach Bo Svensson on the moment when St. Juste raced back to deny Eintracht Frankfurt striker Andre Silva a clear goal chance and become the fastest player in the 2020/21 Bundesliga season 

"Jerry is strong, quick and an intelligent footballer." - Former 05ers head coach Sandro Schwarz

“I'm a fighter. It's also the person that I am. I have to win these duels as a defender. That's the first thing you have to do - keep them from scoring." - St. Juste speaking in March 2021