50 Games In: Gustavo Hamer

If there was any doubt as to whether Gustavo Hamer’s form for much of last season was a flash in a pan, the Dutch midfielder has shown in the early stages of this campaign that he is very much the real deal. A commanding, forceful presence in midfield, Gustavo Hamer is showing signs of maturing from the talented, but wild, player that he was last year into someone who can impose himself on the game without having to constantly attempt the spectacular. Aided by having team-mates around him in better form, Gustavo Hamer is now a highly-effective part of a working unit rather than having to do it all himself.

An excellent passer of the ball who can both open the pitch up with long-range passes as well as increase the tempo by playing quicker through-balls, Gustavo Hamer has a reputation for being reckless in the challenge. While he is currently the team’s most-booked player, there have been much fewer of those needless lunges into opponents from Hamer this season and much more nicking the ball away due to being in the right position at the right time. Often acting as the team’s deepest-lying central midfielder, that reading of the game and ability on the ball allows the team to convert defence into attack much more efficiently. Still capable of the spectacular, Hamer has gone under the radar of the wider footballing public this season because he is doing the unfussy, nitty-gritty work in central midfield more often and is required to produce fewer box-office moments.

Gustavo Hamer looks to be taking the next step in his development of refining the sharp edges out of his game. It would be foolish to take them out entirely, as that willingness to attempt the difficult things makes him such a thrilling and dynamic presence in the centre of the pitch, but there is a balance that can be found between control and entertainment in Hamer’s game. Already one of the team’s best players – if not, the best – Gustavo Hamer is someone who looks like he can still has improvement in him, which is a pretty exciting prospect.

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