Just two match rounds into the 2020 European championship, the name of then PSV star Donyell Malen, gradually made headlines. Alongside Memphis Depay, the 23-year-old was able to see the Orange sail smoothly into the knock-outs. Though the Euro tournament didn't end in the way every Dutch fan would wish, it left them with positives of which Donyell Malen was one.
The 5ft, 10inches forward who is born to a Surinamese father and a Dutch mother in Wieringen, in the Netherlands, first caught the eyes of Ajax at the age of 9 with his amazing footballing talent. Eventually joining their academy, Malen while trying to cut his teeth as a footballer, Malen didn't believe he could make it into the Ajax first team. So Malena opted for a way out.
MOVING TO LONDON
In 2015, fortune smiled on Malen and he was able to secure a move to London to join English Premier League club Arsenal, joining the youth team at the age of 16. The young Dutch forward scored 44 times across two seasons in London. His exciting talent saw him feature twice for the first team of Arsenal under Arsène Wenger.
But just before he could force his way into the first team properly, PSV Eindhoven came knocking. Arsenal eventually accepted the offer from the Dutch side and Donyell Malen was back in the Netherlands.
BACK HOME IN EINDHOVEN
On returning to the Netherlands and now a better-polished talent, Malen took little time to settle into the Eredivisie. In fact, his 133 appearances for PSV saw him hit the back of the net 60 times coupled with over 25 assists.
His blistering start to life in the Eredivisie eventually got him his first national team call-up in August of 2019. He has since made a total of 19 appearances for the Orange and scored two times in that period.
MOVING TO THE BUNDESLIGA
His fast-paced attacking style of play eventually caught the eye of Bundesliga giant Borussia Dortmund and a deal in the region of $33 million saw his switch from PSV to BVB 09 completed.
What Type of Addition is Donyell Malen to Borussia Dortmund?
Not the typical target-man, Malen's hovering style of play appears to be slightly different. He relies on pace, passing, and strong positioning to both create chances for his teammates and take advantage of the opportunities in front of the goal.
His ability to play on both flanks where he can use his pace and dribbling abilities to progress play is definitely a skill that has been key to Dortmund's prolific No.9 Erling Haaland goalscoring form.
Also, his ability to perfectly position himself while attacking as well as create a good link-up play has been key to Marco Rose's side this season.
Doubling up as a striker, his counter-pressing skills and pace has been a key to Dortmund’s pressing style.
Still with 15 goals involvement this season, Dortmund will hope they can get the Dutch forward firing on all cylinders soonest.
A youngster like Donyell Malen, who has shown consistency over the years, will soon be one of the names top European clubs will have on their wishlist soon, as he seems to possess a quality most European giants lack in their attack currently.