Excelsior Rotterdam immediately strengthened itself with defender Nikita Vlasenko. The 20-year-old Swiss player is on a one-year lease from Italian superpower Juventus, where he has been active with the Under-23 team. The defender today signed the agreement with the Kralingers.
20-year-old Vlasenko can be used as a left and right center back. Technical Director Nick Christine: “Nikita is known to be a talented player that we have been watching for some time. He is physically strong, good at defending positions and can play football well. When it turned out that he could be rented, we called him and started the conversation to bring him to Kralingen. Fortunately, he was We are open about that and we are happy about that. With the arrival of Nikita we have doubled all our positions in defence. It is now up to the boys to show who will come up front and take their place in the starting lineup.”
Vlasenko is a young player who attracted the attention of the “old lady” with his strong defensive performance at Swiss club Lugano. The Italians from Juventus took over the Swiss after a tenure in 2019 from Lugano FC. Over the past two years, he has played in O19 and O23, including the Youth League, and on a rental basis with FC Sion in Switzerland. I am a central defender, so my main task is to defend, although I also love the ball. I’m a right-footed player, but I can also play in the left center, and that doesn’t matter to me.”
When Vlasenko learned of the possibility of renting him, he heard of Excelsior’s interest in Rotterdam through his agent. Then I researched the club and the city of Rotterdam and knew right away that I wanted to take this step. I know it’s a good club and I’m looking forward to showing what I can do. I love learning about other cultures in football and in general. I had never visited the Netherlands before, but first impressions of the club and the city were positive.”
Nikita Vlasenko was born in Ukraine, but has lived in Switzerland since he was six years old. There, the 20-year-old is known as an outstanding talent in the defensive field. He recently played an exhibition match against Germany with Switzerland O20. The national team is a different experience than the one in your club. I thought it was very special and honorable because you represent the people of your country.”
Training sessions with the Juventus first team were also useful, with Matisse de Ligt, Leonardo Bonucci and star Cristiano Ronaldo as other players. “Especially the first time is, of course, very special,” he admits. I played matches with U19s and U23s, but I was allowed to train regularly with the first team. You all know these guys from TV, but then all of a sudden you’re on the field with them. Of course you learn a lot from that.”
With so much struggle and passion in his game, Vlasenko wants to eliminate his immediate opponents. In this regard, he enjoyed the highlights he saw in the match Excelsior Rotterdam and Roda JC: It was not easy, but the team really fought for it and it was good and important that they get three points. This is the way it should be, always fighting to win. We have a young team with some of the most experienced players so I think this is a good move for me. I’m really excited to get started and do everything in my power to help the team and finish as high as possible.”
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