Premier League trio ‘in battle for Feyenoord midfielder’

Oli Fisher
Tonny Vilhena: A name for the future

Southampton, Leicester and Sunderland are reportedly all in the race to sign Feyenoord midfielder Tonny Vilhena.

At just 21 years of age, Vilhena has been a virtual ever-present in the team for the Rotterdam club this season, playing in 38 games in all competitions.

A versatile central midfielder, the Maassluis-born man is a key contributor for Feyenoord, who recently won the KNVB Becker with a 2-1 win over Utrecht.

The Netherlands international has featured in a number of positions for Giovanni van Bronckhorst, starting at central midfield, attacking midfield and out on the left this season due to his varied skill set.

Southampton have been considered favourites to secure his signature for a while as his former boss Ronald Koeman is currently in charge on the south coast.

However, the Daily Mail report that the Foxes are a surprise candidate to make a bid, having monitored the player all season.

The situation is remarkably similar to the one in January, in which the same three clubs plus Swansea City were all reported to be interested in Vilhena.

Tonny Vilhena, Feyenoord

A Feyenoord academy graduate, Vilhena has represented the Netherlands at every level, and is widely regarded as a player who could develop into something special.

Portuguese outlet A Bola also stated earlier in the month that there was interest from FC Porto.

Former Feyenoord coach Mario Been was full of praise for the young star.

“That boy has poison in his way of playing football. I dare to compare him with Edgar Davids, who gave a team always something extra” he told Voetbal International.”Wonderful player.”

“You see he is also becoming more mature, he rarely does crazy things anymore. Of course, it has to do with age. Tonny nevertheless has been running for years. He stands out in this Feyenoord, which is quite significant. I told FOX Sports that I think he is an Orange player for the foreseeable future. I always believe in him.”