Date of Birth: 15.01.1992 (25 years old)
Position: Central Midfielder
Country: Trinidad and Tobago / United Kingdom
Value: 900.000 €
Contract Until: 30.06.2018
Height: 1.88 m
John Joseph Bostock, who was born in London and then started to play football at Crystal Palace made his league debut on 29 October 2007 at the age of 15 years against Watford in a Championship match, making him Palace’s youngest ever player. After capturing attention in a very young age, he moved Tottenham for 2 millions of euros at the end of the 2007/08 season. In 2008/09 season he only played in 3 UEFA games with Tottenham shirt and in the game against Dinamo Zagreb he became the youngest player ever to play for Spurs at 16 years of age. He has been loaned out to League One team Brentford for one month in November 2009 and performed 2 goals and 1 assist in 9 games. At the beginning of the next season he has been loaned out again, but this time to newly-relegated Championship outfit Hull City. After his promising start he lost his place in the team and been called back to Tottenham. He started to 2011/12 season with Sheffield Wednesday in League One but after 4 games there, he finished the season with League Two team Swindon Town, helping the team to promote to League One. After joining Swindon Town on loan again before 2012/13 season, he again returned to Tottenham on January and has been sent on loan to USA this time and started to play at MLS with Toronto FC.
At the end of the 2012/13 season, after years of loan moves, he has been released by Tottenham and this has been his “rebirth”. He joined Belgian second tier side Royal Antwerp and finished the season with 1 goal and 16 assists in 28 games. After his strong performances he earned a move to newly-relegated OH Leuven, where he continued to shine by helping his team to promote with his performance of 13 goals and 19 assists which brought him the Player of the Season Award. Bostock has moved to Lens for 150.000 euros before 2016/17 season with his 7 goals and 4 assists at the Belgian first division and until now he has 5 goals and 5 assists with Lens, where he played 90 minutes in all of the 22 league matches.
Bostock, who first played for England U16 side at the age of 14, represented England up to U19 level and captained U17 side was eligible to represent England, Scotland and Trinidad & Tobago and it has been announced that he chose to represent Trinidad & Tobago. It can be expected that he will play for Trinidad & Tobago for 2018 World Cup Qualifications, despite not making his debut with “Soca Warriors.
John Bostock is a central midfielder, who can score double-digit numbers of goals as well as coming deep to get ball and dictating the tempo. If we examine the season he had with OH Leuven, we see that he formed the midfield duo in 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 formations. Likely in this season he is playing between the lines with a partner in Lens’ midfield, that adopts a possession and pass based 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3.
Strengths (Pass quality, Vision, Technique, Long shots)
John Bostock shows his difference when his team has the ball. With his role of play-maker in a team which prefers shorter passes to play out of defence instead of clearing the ball, he comes nearer to defenders very often to get the ball and shows a calm, confident and self-conscious attitude at these moments. He has a 86% pass completion rate in 67 passes per game. As a result of being his team’s “aorta” he is being tightly-marked but he knows well how to get rid of the marker as well as commanding his team-mates when he is not available to get the ball. He plays a more static and commander role compared to his midfield partner Benjamin Bourigeaud, who is more dynamic and energetic, and forms a good partnership with him. Although his team does not have such a playing-style he is very succesful at sending long passes to other flank.
He can play through balls which help penetrate opponent’s defences when he has the ball at second third and can perform final key passes around the opponent penalty area as well as being able to assist the assist thanks to his vision. He has 2.5 key pass attempts per game and successes in 1.3 of them. Despite playing more like a deep-lying-playmaker in last years, he was a key link between midfield and attack at the earlier stages of his career and because of that he knows what to do when he has the ball at offensive area. That’s why he has a high number of goals and assists in his career.
25 year-old midfielder, who is technically gifted and one of the most technical players of Ligue 2 for sure, is not very agile and pacy but still he has quick feet and that helps him a lot while dribbling through the middle. Not very often because of his static role we have spoke of, but he can dribble with the ball fearlessly and is able to dribble past opponents. Another place where Bostock excels is in his long shots, where he can perform out-bended shots with his strong left foot. Also, he is the set-piece taker of his team and performs his shooting abilities in direct free-kicks. He applies to “panenka” style very often when taking penalties.
Weaknesses (Defensive Contribution, Adaptability)
He can be “bulky” and a bit lazy when the opponent has the ball and he is not making enough effort to mark his opponent in midfield. Although he does not avoid to use his shoulder in challenges he has to raise his aggression and tackles per game.
In Belgium and France he met familiar cultures like he saw in London’s southern districts therefore he did not struggle to adapt himself in these countries but as we think about Turkey’s general situation, tense football atmosphere and its own dynamics, we may foresee that it will be a problem for him to adapt to the lifestyle in Turkey.
Similar Players: Toni Kroos, Mousa Dembele, Emre Belözoğlu
As a consequence of taking the role of play-maker as being the “number 1” pass station of his team, his technical skills and his success at set pieces, John Bostock resembles Toni Kroos. Furthermore, he shows similiarities with Mousa Dembele by his dribbling abilites, using his agility at protecting the ball, long shots with his left foot and his history at the position attacking midfielder. Likely, with his strong left foot, his long distance shots and his commanding character he reminds of Emre Belözoğlu.