Position: Centre Back
Date of Birth: November 13th 1991
Place of Birth: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Previous Club(s): Feyenoord
Holland is a nation short on quality centre-backs. Dirk Marcellis stands alone as the hope of the current generation, but take a look a couple of age groups down and you’ll find a defender at Chelsea, via Feyenoord, who has everything in his locker to become an international of some calibre. Jeffrey Bruma joined Chelsea aged 15 from his hometown club having played above his age group consistently, and has continued to do so in England, becoming a regular in the Reserve team at the age of 16.
Followers of the talent were told he was capable of playing anywhere in midfield or defence. At Chelsea he’s settled into the heart of defence but on occasion can be moved around should tactical needs require it. He absolutely oozes class and ability. He is never rushed and almost never makes a mistake. He has the pace to stay with quicker strikers, the height and strength to compete with stronger ones, and the nous to read a game perfectly. Just watching him for five minutes, you can immediately tell he’s Dutch. Completely at ease with the ball, he never wastes it, never unnecessarily punts it long and hopeful, always choosing the patient approach and finding the right pass. He’s also a useful dribbler, given the occasional license to break with the ball up into midfield and beyond.
In his debut season he also proved his worth from set pieces, and in particular as a late and unnoticed arrival at the far post. Each of his goals arrived in such a manner, proving elusive in the face of attention for other players. His attacking exploits are just a cherry on the top of a cake that has great potential. After a year in England, he’s grown so much physically, making him a match against almost any striker.
It is also worth noting that due to a passport anomaly, should Jeffrey break into the professional ranks at any English team, he will then become known as Jeffrey van Homoet. His brother, Marciano van Homoet of Barnsley, made the same change in September of 2008, but Jeffrey will only need to do so when officially registered in a competition.
After completing a full season in the Under-18s as a schoolboy, Jeffrey’s first year on a scholarship deal in England started in the Reserves and by and large has stayed there, only dropping to the youth team to recover from injuries which have kept him out for a few games. Even as a 16 year-old playing regularly against men he’s mostly cruised through games, which adhered him to the senior coaching staff at Stamford Bridge. Regularly training with the first team, injuries to defenders meant he was part of the matchday squad at the mid-point of the season. He was handed the number 47 shirt but is yet to appear on the substitutes bench or make an appearance.