Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen has said his time at Sampdoria is key to his development.

Andersen left FC Twente in Holland for Sampdoria as a young player.

“In Holland, everything is with the ball,” he said on the Palace website. “All training is done with the ball, all the physical work and running is done with the ball.

“They really like getting into the details and the precision of the game from behind, the midfielders wanting the ball, a lot of possession games. So you learn how to use the ball and you get really good with the ball.

“I’ve always been a midfielder before, and that helped me too. It wasn’t until I was 17 or 18 that I moved – it was pretty late. I really like playing football. back because you can see it all, and I think that’s where my strengths come in. ”

There was, however, a downside. Despite all of his development with the ball in his feet, Andersen was keen to perfect the basic art of defense that had eluded him in his youth as a midfielder. When it comes to defending as an art, there is only one place to go.

They didn’t really focus on defense [in the Netherlands]”Said Andersen.” There wasn’t a lot of one-on-one, the emphasis was on us having the ball. So it was nice to live with and it helped me a lot in my development, but that’s why I thought it was a perfect step to then go to Italy to learn the defensive part of the game. ”

In Italy, defense was in the foreground. The training, for Andersen, has become a deeply intense experience. “It was long sessions,” he recalls, puffing up his cheeks. “I had a very good manager [Marco Giampaolo] – he wanted to play very good football at Sampdoria when I was there. He wanted structure in the game.

“He’s like a robot. He wanted to control [the players]. It is not so free in your positioning. The offensive players were a little tired of him at times, but for me it was really good working with the four-line defensive back.

“Learn to let go, to use body language, every time a guy gets the ball, what to do. He really cared about a lot of the little things, so it was really good for me. ”

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