The top clubs in Europe such as Bayern Munich and Barcelona are after a young full-back, who plays for Ajax, but by nationality is an American. For Ajax, he has been extremely impressive and for the United States of America, he is expected to shine like the other talents who have already started to showcase their talent and skill in the top leagues of Europe.
Sergiño Dest's latest post on Instagram had the location 'Paulaner Nockherberg' where Bayern's photoshoot took place today. Location has now been removed (screenshot taken by our German account @iMiaSanMia_GER) pic.twitter.com/VJThOL5B6a
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) September 22, 2020
But let us focus on the talent named Sergino Dest.
Born in the Netherlands to a Dutch mother and American father, Dest has represented the United States internationally at the senior level since 2019.
Dest played for the youth academy of Almere City FC until 2012 when he made the switch to the youth teams of Ajax. After progressing through the ranks of the club, he made his debut for Jong Ajax on October 15, 2018, Jong Ajax, in a 2–1 loss against Jong PSV.
Dest impressed over the course of the 2018–19 season, making 17 appearances in the Dutch Eerste Divisie and tallying one goal and two assists.
He also scored one goal and provided one assist in seven appearances in the prestigious UEFA Youth League.
19-year old Sergiño Dest is Barca's first choice to replace Semedo on the right side of the defense.
One hitch: Bayern want him too. pic.twitter.com/dlg3ad59Ca
— total Barça (@totalBarca) September 21, 2020
In 2019, Dest made his debut for the Ajax first team in an official game, when he started the 2019 Johan Cruyff Shield match, a derby against PSV Eindhoven. Ajax won the match, 2–0, and in consequence, the title.
A few weeks later, Dest debuted in the Eredivisie, replacing Noussair Mazraoui in the 54th minute of the Ajax 5–0 home win against FC Emmen.
He represented the United States U-17s at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, and the United States U-20s at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, where he played four matches.
Dest debuted for the U.S. men’s senior team on September 6, 2019, starting and playing 68 minutes in a 3–0 friendly loss against Mexico.
Just a short video to see what Sergiño Dest is capable of 🧐pic.twitter.com/nFnhJIaKHP
— Better than Semedo (@AmericanFCB) September 20, 2020
Dest chose to commit his international future to the United States at the senior level on October 28, 2019.
In Ajax, Dest plays as a full-back on the right. He is not just an ordinary full-back but the kind of talent he possesses, critics have already tagged him as a modern full-back, who can join the attack and defend when it is needed.
Once upon a time, he was a free-flowing attacker who could operate on either flank or even in the middle. In his full debut for Ajax, Dest actually played the entire game at left-back.
Sergino Dest vs. APOEL
In his first ever Champions League start, the 18 year-old American was awarded Man of the Match by the home crowd at the Johan Cruyff Arena.
And while Ziyech deserved it, that recognition was a testament to his performance. He was superb throughout. pic.twitter.com/ojF5LpvvC4
— Marc Geschwind (@MarcGeschwind) August 28, 2019
He was able to cut in onto his right and show his quality in the midfield on countless times – This flexibility is important for any player, especially one who is still young and can offer so much across the pitch.
In terms of his positioning on the right-side, Dest has been comfortable playing with his feet on the touchline or inverted to fill in the midfield. Much of this was dependent on the space that Chelsea-bound winger Hakim Ziyech took up. When Ziyech would drift wide, Dest would pinch in.
On the wings, Dest can utilize his pace and dribbling ability to the fullest extent.
According to Total Football Analysis, “He attempts nearly 4.6 dribbles per 90 and has a 55.13% completion rate, which is a very respectable number considering the limited space he usually finds himself in. Like in the example above, Dest teases his defender in order to eventually take a touch past and find a pass once he gets to the byline.”
Sergiño Dest. 18-years-old.
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 18, 2019
“Dest is not afraid to be a big source of attack for his side and the 2.2 progressive runs per 90 are indicative of how much he gets forward. While he doesn’t shy away from whipping a cross into the box, he has found much of his success operating through the middle.”
“Other than his dribbling ability and superb athleticism, Dest has proven himself to be a very proficient passer of the ball. His 47.16 passes per 90 that return an impressive 86.25% completion rate could be a hint at why some of the best possession teams in the world.”
“Dest’s ability on the ball opens up so many avenues for him and his teammates which is why he posts impressive numbers for the passing side of the game.”
— Kyle Bonagura (@BonaguraESPN) November 16, 2019
Such has been his attacking abilities, but as mentioned above, he is quite good if not better in defending also.
It is not easy to drop down deep after linking-up with the attack and help in defending – adapting the body shape while defending is very important. Dest centers himself in front of the attacker so that the attacker can’t move either way and retains possession or intervenes with a crucial block to neutralize the attacks. Again, when he discovers that the opposition attacker has found a space to exploit just in front or behind him then his pace aids him to fill that space quickly.
Sergino Dest is the modern day full-back. No doubt about his attacking prowess, but there are shortcomings in his defensive abilities. I am sure that will improve if he joins @FCBayernEN 🇺🇸
— Faisal Caesar (@faisalyorker1) September 22, 2020
Then he has that sliding tackles, which aided Ajax on many occasions.
Still, his defensive position has been one of his shortcomings as discovered in the Dutch League and while playing for United States National Team. His awkward position while defending tends to leave him flat-footed. He has been left nutmegged a couple of times because of that, and his decision making at times raised questions too.
But right now, he is in a phase of learning, and in the course of time, he is expected to overcome the shortcomings.