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Three To Watch: Vitesse Arnhem

Ahead of Reading’s final pre-season friendly, Jack Simpson takes a look at three players to keep an eye on.

Vitesse Arnhem v SC Heracles Almelo - Eredivisie Match Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Alexander Buttner

Alexander Buttner should be a familiar name to Reading fans, with the left back making 28 appearances and scoring two goals for Manchester United in a two-year spell between the 2012 and 2014 season. The Dutchman also made two appearances against the Royals in the Premier League and the FA Cup in his debut season for the Red Devils.

Butter’s lack of appearances at Old Trafford saw the defender complete a transfer to Dinamo Moscow, where he made 37 appearances scoring one goal. Following that he completed a return to Arnhem, the club where it all began for him, in January 2017, after his Dinamo deal expired.

In his 10 appearances for the Vitesse last season, Buttner made an average of 0.7 tackles per game and 0.8 clearances per game, though don’t expect him to put his body on the line much, he averaged a block every five games!

His offensive stats are fairly impressive for Arnhem, he averages at least one key chance created per game and his crossing rate is 0.7pg, so Chris Gunter will have to be on his guard to stop him marauding too far forward, while Roy Beerens or Adrian Popa will have to try and get the better of him going forward.

Navarone Foor

Foor completed a transfer from fellow Dutch side NEC Nijmegen in July 2016, and plays in attacking midfield and on the left wing. He made a decent contribution last season for Arnhem, with six goals and one assist in 29 league appearances, helping his side to finish fifth place in the Dutch Eredivise and qualification for the Europa League group stages.

The Dutchman’s offensive play last season was also impressive, with an average of one key pass per game, 0.8 crosses per game and 34.6 passes per game, with a completion rate of just under 81%. So we can expect Foor to join Butner in providing some creativity out wide.

Bryan Linssen

The final player that Reading fans should keep an eye on is Bryan Linssen.

Linssen is a new arrival at the GeireDome having completed a summer switch from fellow Dutch side FC Groningen.

He can play in a number of positions such as the left wing, attacking midfield and as a centre-forward. Last season Linssen scored 11 goals in 30 appearances for FC Groningen, as they finished in eighth place in the Dutch Eredivisie.

He may not be much on the ball, with a pass completion below 70% but the versatile attacker still provided an average of at least one key pass per game, while averaging more that two shots per 90 minutes.

In that sense he seems a bit like Yann Kermorgant, who himself only managed 2.7 shots per game but still found the target regularly. 11 goals from 62 shots is far from a terrible ratio, watching the videos on him suggests Linssen likes to cut from the left and getting shots away with his right foot.

According to whoscored.com Linssen managed to fire an average of 1.7 shots per game with his right foot, meaning it will down to Reading’s defenders to force the Dutchman onto his weaker side.