Calvin Stengs - Scouting Report
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Born in Nieuw-Vennep, Northern Holland, Stengs joined the AZ youth academy at the age of 12. Stengs was promoted to the reserve side for the 2016/17 season playing in the Dutch third division. That season proved a successful one for the winger, finishing the campaign with six goals and eight assists from 20-odd outings. His sparkling performances with the reserves rightly warranted the attention of then first team coach John van den Brom. 

A tricky, remarkably gifted young forward, Calvin Stengs is a pain for defenders when he’s on the ball. Capable of easily getting by his markers with a silky drop of the shoulders, feinting one way then moving the other way. 

While Myron Boadu and Idrissi are seen as the explosive forwards blessed with such blistering pace, Stengs represents the more subtle and creative spark in the attacking trio. One such subtlety is his spatial awareness, and effortless knack of picking the right pockets of space in between the lines. 

He typically lines up on the right of the AZ front free but is given the license to roam around in the attacking and middle third to create space and give the team more options when in possession of the ball. It’s through these areas where Stengs is at his most dangerous, capable of threading such delicate, fine through balls to his fellow forwards or to attempt shots with his stronger left-boot. 

Stengs can simply put in a reliable performance within any of the attacking positions. His flexibility, vision, trickery, ball technique and balance warrants such versatility even for a player who’s just into his third full season as a professional footballer. Stengs is an atypical modern forward but with a blend of silky attributes, as the above heat map shows, Stengs does most of his work coming in off the right, he also has no problem picking up the deep in midfield and finding his teammates in more advanced positions or even dribbling past a few opponents to drive his team up the pitch. 

When he receives a pass, he already has an idea of what he’s going to do and even if that plan fails, he’s very adept in improvising, manoeuvring his way out of trouble. His posture is open to play, often on the half-turn, and he can take his first touch with either foot. 

In tight spaces, he’s capable of shifting the ball between both feet to protect possession, a trait that so few players can perform. Yet, Stengs has mastered them which opens up more angles and creates more options for his next creative action. 

Calvin Stengs holds such distinctive features in his game; a tall, slender physique that so often glides around the pitch effortlessly facilitating attacks with his silky left foot, supporting a Leroy Sane-like afro. Indeed, he holds similar characteristics to the German international. 

Stengs is indeed a unique talent, its no wonder why he’s so highly regarded in Holland. While it may be tempting for top clubs to move for him this summer, a couple more years leading AZ certainly won’t hurt his development. Though, there are a few Premier League sides who could do with his sublime attributes. Don’t be surprised to see a move to the English top-flight in the near future. 


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