Following a breakout season in Ligue 2 with spectacular numbers – 12 goals and 20 assists – to his name, Toulouse’s Dutch midfielder Branco van den Boomen’s (27) debut Ligue 1 season was eagerly awaited. The Ajax youth product – who will now return to his formative club on a free transfer this summer – did not disappoint. For his very first Ligue 1 game against Nice, he wore the skipper’s armband and delivered an assist for his fellow countryman Thijs Dallinga.
Van den Boomen has flourished in this tailored-made central midfielder role, putting on some good performances as a box-to-box midfielder or as an old-school n°10. His height (6’2”) is also an asset when it comes to aerial duels. The Dutchman has a keen eye for goal and a wand of a right foot. He put the latter to good use when taking set-pieces. He slotted a sneaky free-kick past the PSG wall to bamboozle Gianluigi Donnarumma lately.
Van den Boomen is the heartbeat of a resurgent Toulouse side, who even clinched silverware in lifting the Coupe de France after hammering a poor Nantes side in the final. The Dutchman is among the European elite when it comes to goal contributions from a central midfielder. With 19 G/A, Van den Boomen is just short of Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich and Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde.
GFFN | Bastien Cheval