A Netherlands U21 international who is setting impressive standards at Wolfsburg, Mickey van de Ven has developed into one of world football's hottest prospects. bundesliga.com gives you the lowdown on a pacy central defender who appears destined for greatness.
Stats correct as of 3 July 2023
Age: 22 (born 19 April 2001)
Country: Netherlands (11 caps for U21s)
Born in the Dutch town of Wormer located close to Amsterdam, Van de Ven joined the youth ranks of Dutch side FC Volendam in 2013. Showing immense promise in central defence as he rose through the ranks of the northern Dutch side, he was eventually promoted to represent the club’s B team, Jong Volendam, in 2018.
Van de Ven made 30 appearances across all competitions in that breakout season as Jong Volendam won promotion. The reward came the following campaign when the gifted defender signed professional terms and was given his first chance with the seniors as they took on Jong PSV in the second division. He would go on to make 19 appearances in the second tier, even captaining Volendam on one occasion in that 2019/20 campaign.
The interest of several clubs within the Netherlands and elsewhere by now piqued, Van de Ven got his head down and after recovering from a foot injury, returned to the senior side in 2021/22. He captained the team to sixth place and the promotion play-offs, scoring twice and providing an assist in 26 appearances.
In charge of Wolfsburg at the time, Van de Ven’s compatriot Mark van Bommel moved to bring the versatile centre-back to the Wolves in the summer of 2021. His first-team appearances limited in that first season at the Volkswagen Arena – most notably due to a hamstring injury – the Dutch player nonetheless managed to make five Bundesliga appearances, three of which came at left-back. Among those games, he provided an assist for Max Kruse in a 2-2 home draw against Bayern Munich.
With the arrival of coach Niko Kovac last term, Van de Ven played all but one of the Wolves’ Bundesliga games in 2022/23, the majority in central defence, as the side narrowly missed out on European qualification.
Watch: The best of Van de Ven in the Bundesliga
Plays a bit like: Virgil van Dijk
Much like Liverpool’s Dutch centre-back, Van de Ven can be a nightmare for attacking players with his immense strength, determination and precision tackling scuppering the most promising of forward moves. With incredible pace and passing ability among his many assets, the Netherlands U21 international – who captained his country at the 2023 UEFA Europan Under-21 Championship – is on course to become a regular for the senior Oranje in the near future.
Did you know?
Van de Ven scored his first Bundesliga goal in Wolfsburg’s 2-0 win against Borussia Dortmund last season. He was also the quickest central defender in the German top flight last term, clocking in at a turbo-boosting 22.3 mph (35.97 km/h).
What they’re saying
“Micky is a great boy [and] a really good footballer. What he's showing at the moment is extraordinary.” – Wolfsburg coach Niko Kovac sang Van de Ven’s praises last season.
“Left foot, extreme speed, plays every second. Micky [has performed] consistently very well throughout the season. He’s a player with huge potential and this season in particular has shown incredible development, playing himself into the spotlight with his performances.” – Marcel Schäfer, Wolfsburg’s managing director for sport.
“For me, it’s always been a dream to play in the Bundesliga. That’s why I’m delighted to be staying as part of VfL Wolfsburg beyond 2025, and to be able to continue my development here.” – Van de Ven reacts after signing improved terms with the Wolves last March.
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