When it comes to an opinion about a tough, imposing defender like Nigel de Jong few soccer fans are on the fence.
A player variously known as Nigel “King Kong” de Jong or the “Lawnmower” with a track record for violently injuring opposing players like former U.S. international Stuart Holden is either abhorred for his uncompromising, some would say dangerous style, or lauded for being the linchpin of an effective back four.
But it goes further than that.
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena has pointed out that de Jong’s qualities go beyond the merely physical; not only did he win 82 percent of his tackles during his brief Galaxy career, but he has completed more passes than any other player on the team so far this season.
“We don’t have an educated public that understands what he does,” Arena lamented earlier this week.
1099 – Nigel de Jong has completed the most passes in this season's MLS as a LA Galaxy player(18 games, 1099 successful passes). Signature.
— OptaCan (@OptaCan) August 31, 2016
— Angel City Brigade (@ACBrigade) August 31, 2016
What do you think?