In Focus: Feyenoord ace Calvin can Steng Celtic in European opener
Calvin Stengs will look to continue his superb start to the 2023-24 season when Feyenoord host Celtic in the Champions League.
The 24-year-old midfielder completed a move to the Dutch champions from Nice this summer and has taken no time at all to impress under Arne Slot's leadership.
With Feyenoord's top scorer Santiago Gimenez suspended for tonight's group game at De Kuip, we shine the spotlight on his team-mate who can be Slot's star man.
Stengs spent last season on loan at Belgian side Royal Antwerp where he rediscovered his best form.
The creative midfielder scored three goals and assisted nine more from 37 appearances across all competitions as the Reds won a league and cup double.
In April, Stengs explained how Antwerp boss Mark van Bommel helped him regain confidence that he had lost at Nice.
He said: "Mark is a nice man to work with. I haven't always played well here either but he lets me stand and gives me confidence.
"I do feel that actions are working again as before and that I am important. Especially now that I can set the lines from midfield.
"It goes back on autopilot. I don't have to think so much any more."
Stengs also stated his desire to represent the Dutch national team again after making his debut in current boss Ronald Koeman's first stint in charge.
The seven-cap international added: "I made my debut in 2019 under Koeman, so he knows me. But I just have to perform and then it will come again."
Stengs has continued to dazzle since making the move to Rotterdam, tallying a goal, four assists and 17 chances created from his first five Eredivisie appearances.
The AZ Alkmaar academy graduate is also a versatile weapon at Slot's disposal having played as both a right winger and as a deeper central midfielder already this season.
And former Feyenoord ace Karim El Ahmadi believes Stengs could add the false nine position to his repertoire against Celtic.
He said: "Against Celtic at home, Feyenoord will have the ball a lot. Celtic just won't have the ball.
"If you then put Yankuba Minteh or Igor Paixao in the striker, they will not get a lot of space.
"At home against Celtic you may have to look for a Stengs as a false striker. You could play without a striker."
Brendan Rodgers' Bhoys will be acutely aware of the threat posed by Feyenoord and their chief creator Stengs.
As well as being blessed with superb passing and dribbling skills, he offers the Dutch giants a physical presence with his 6ft frame.
But with Feyenoord set to dominate possession on the first night of this season's Champions League group stage, Stengs' ability with the ball will likely be his main threat against a team who may opt to play solely on the counter.
Celtic have only conceded three goals in their first five Scottish Premiership outings this term, so helping to breach the defence will not be an easy task for the Dutchman.