Could this former Hull City flop score his way back to the Premier League?

AZ Alkmaar Graffiti

Jozy Altidore did not have much success at The KC Stadium in his last Premier League stint but could his current form for AZ Alkmaar earn him a move back to English football?

Recently he has been in the news for unfortunate wrong reasons that were not his doing. On the 29th January when Dutch side AZ Alkmaar thrashed FC Den Bosch 5-0 in the KNVB Cup Jozy Altidore was subjected to vile racial abuse from a section of the home supporters. Even the effort of the Den Bosch players to calm the section of the crowd down was in vein and met with vitriol from their own fans.

When the referee Reinold Wiedemeijer stopped the game Altidore himself asked the referee to restart the match.

It was exemplary and mature behaviour from the centre forward who spoke of the incident after the game, saying: 

"It's a bit disappointing that these things still happen in this time we're in but what are you going to do? You just hope that these people can improve themselves. You pray for them. I feel like I have an obligation as a football player, to my club, to my family, to not react to things like this and to show that the club stands better than that, that I was raised better than to respond to such ridiculous behaviour."

His actions received global acclaim but we should have expected such a humble reaction from a man who donated money and time to the 2010 Haiti earthquake appeal, which to him was a personal tragedy due to his Haitian roots, and his decision to adorn his football boots with the names of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook shooting as a tribute to those lost in December last year.

The striker has come a long way from his tumultuous spell at Spanish side Villarreal; which of course accommodated a mediocre at best loan stint at Hull City in 2009-10.

Now aged 23 he has been playing in the Eredivisie for almost two seasons and his form for AZ has been sensational. Last season he managed 17 goals in 46 appearances but has already gone within one goal of that amount this season in just 23 games for the Dutch outfit.

He has also had to achieve the feat in a struggling AZ side. The days of their Eredivisie title in 2009 and UEFA Cup/Europa League semi and quarter finals are well and truly over; this season they find themselves just three points above Roda JC and VVV-Venlo in the relegation mark. The fickle nature of the Dutch League and play-off format for European competition does however also mean they are just a run of good form and seven points off of a chance of European qualification but either way next season they may have to bid farewell to their star striker.

So is he ready for another crack at the Premier League?

More mature since his time with Hull City he certainly has the physicality to play in the league and is an undisputed finisher when put in front of goal. His technique may need a little work yet with his first touch still remaining heavy.

A natural progression would be a move to the Bundesliga. Dutch-based players have recently made that the norm as a final stepping stone before heading off to the likes of England or Spain; two countries where Altidore is likely to not have fond memories of.

But would you want your team to take a punt on the American striker?

images: © richardofengland, © eerio

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