Justin Bijlow has been named by the Eredivisie as Player of the Month. In April, the Feyenoord goalkeeper was the best-performing player according to statistics and football fans’ votes. Ajax player Jurriën Timber has been named U21 Player of the Month for the first time. With four players, Ajax has provided the most players for the Team of the Month.
In the last three rounds, the 23-year old goalkeeper from Feyenoord has done all he can to support his club in the battle for a 4th position in the Eredivisie. It’s an important ranking: a final fourth position provides a ticket to the UEFA Europa Conference League while the number five has to face the play-offs.
The Rotterdam team (5) was able to reduce the gap in relation to Vitesse (4) to just two points, after wins against Fortuna Sittard (2-0) and FC Utrecht (1-2). A further, important step could have been taken last Sunday. However, the meeting between Feyenoord and Vitesse ultimately ended in a draw (0-0).
Nevertheless, Bijlow can look back at an exceptional month. The goalkeeper saved 15 out of 16 shots at goal in April and also realised two clean sheets. Only teammate Leroy Fer could get past the goalkeeper with an own goal against FC Utrecht.
Bijlow also held his ground in the match against Vitesse, with seven saves and a clean sheet. In addition to receiving the Man of the Match award, Bijlow also achieved a personal record in the Eredivisie. He was the first Feyenoord keeper with that many saves in the Eredivisie since Kenneth Vermeer (8 against PSV on 15 December 2019).
This is the first Player of the Month award for Justin Bijlow. He is following in the footsteps of Robin van Persie, the last Feyenoord player to have won the award, in August 2018. Earlier this season, Bijlow’s teammates Geertruida (September 2020 and January 2021) and Orkun Kökçü (March 2021) won the U21 Player of the Month award.
Justin Bijlow with his Player of the Month award. Photo: Feyenoord.
Jurriën Timber chosen as U21 Player of the Month
In a month when Ajax was officially crowned Dutch champion and won the TOTO KNVB Cup, Jurriën Timber took his first individual award. The 19-year old from Utrecht was given a spot in all four of Ajax’s Eredivisie matches (including the return match on 22 April).
The defender rewarded this confidence with an excellent performance. Timber won 21 of his 34 personal duels in April and was the youngest player to win at least 60% of these (with 62%). Also, converted per 90 minutes, he achieved 70 passes; just five players realised a higher average. With passing accuracy of 88%, 7 interceptions and 7 successful dribbles, the highest number together with forward Sébastien Haller, the young defender functioned as a vital cog in his team.
This led to Jurriën Timber receiving his first U21 Player of the Month award.
Jurrien Timber with his U21 Player of the Month award. Photo: Ajax.
Ajax provides most players for Team of the Month
With four players, Ajax has provided the most players for the Team of the Month. Alongside Jurriën Timber, Davy Klaassen, Lisandro Martínez and Edson Álvarez all earned a place in the team. Feyenoord and the surprise of the last few weeks, FC Emmen, then follow with two players each. PSV, Vitesse and FC Utrecht supplied one player each to the Team of the Month.
The full Eredivisie Team of the Month for April: Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord), Jurrïen Timber (Ajax), Riechedly Bazoer (Vitesse), Lisandro Martínez (Ajax), Philipp Max (PSV), Edson Álvarez (Ajax), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Sergio Peña (FC Emmen), Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord), Michael de Leeuw (FC Emmen) and Gyrano Kerk (FC Utrecht).
The Team of the Month is created using statistics and fans’ votes.
The scores for Player of the Month are drawn up for players objectively based on over 60 statistics. Only players who have played at least two-thirds of the total number of game minutes are eligible for the award. Something that has changed since January, however, is that fans’ votes submitted through the Man of the Match selection are also included in the count.
The Eredivisie Player of the Month award is an initiative of Eredivisie CV in collaboration with ESPN and KPN, main sponsor of the Eredivisie.