1. FC Union Berlin is taking steps to strengthen the defensive options for next season with the signing of 23-year-old Danilho Doekhi from Vitesse Arnhem. The central defender is the club captain under German head coach Thomas Letsch, missing only five competitive matches for the Dutch team.
Released by Ajax, development at Vitesse
Born in Rotterdam, Doekhi began to show his promise and was recruited by Excelsior Rotterdam’s youth academy. His talent didn’t go unnoticed and he was presented the opportunity to join one of Europe’s top clubs. Ajax signed the 18-year-old for their famous academy and Doekhi went straight to work with team-mates Mathis De Ligt, Justin Kluivert and Mitchel Bakker. But after two challenging years in Amsterdam, Doekhi packed his bags and signed for Vitesse Arnhem. There, he was given an opportunity to experience first-team football and develop in a club aspiring for success in the Eredivisie.
In his first season in the Dutch top flight, Doekhi featured 15 times. The following three seasons he would only miss five minutes of football when he was named in the matchday squad. With four seasons of Eredivisie football under his belt, Doekhi collected 106 appearances and was given the captain’s armband under Letsch this season.
Three facts about Danilho:
- Just like Sheraldo Becker, Doekhi holds Dutch and Surinamese citizenship.
- Football runs in the family: Doekhi is the nephew of Champions League winner Winston Bogarde who played for Chelsea, Barcelona, Milan and Ajax.
- His name is pronounced “Danijo Duki”.
“With the move to the Bundesliga, I want to take the next step in my career. Union is a huge opportunity for me and I want to take the club forward on its way. In the conversations, I also gained the feeling that I can continue to improve here. I’ve also heard a lot about the stadium and the atmosphere here, and I’m especially looking forward to it,” added Doekhi.
“Danilho has the ideal conditions for a modern central defender. He has a strong physique, but at the same time is also very agile. As captain of Vitesse, he has learned to take responsibility and to play a leading role in the team structure.”, said Oliver Ruhnert, 1. FC Union Berlin’s Managing Director for Professional Football.