Reading will have Everton ‘reality check’ to thank if Drenthe succeeds

As Royston Drenthe is linked with a move to the Royals, it could be the tough love of David Moyes that inspires him to fulfil his potential.

Reports last week suggested Dutch winger Royston Drenthe is on the verge of joining Reading.

The 26-year-old’s agent told NUsport, “The contract has been signed. A few small things have to be arranged before it’s official.

He has a good feeling with the club and wants to play in England.”

But where most signings are hailed it would be no surprise if, given the player’s history, Royals fans viewed this one more with trepidation than elation.

There is no doubting Drenthe’s ability. After an impressive start to his career at Feyenoord, a move to Real Madrid followed. Although the fact that he started only 15 La Liga games in three seasons speaks of a player who was surrounded by, rather than part of, the Galacticos.

His loan move to Goodison Park in 2011 was seen as quite a masterstroke from then-manager David Moyes. But while his time at Everton was fruitful, four goals and eight assists spoke of a fleeting rather than consistent talent.

In full-flow, the midfielder was a sight to behold. He had the beating of many an opponent, and seemed to see obstacles as figments of his imagination to run past without a second look.

But off the field he caused problems, turning up late for training and causing Moyes to omit him from the squad. Just as he had done at previous loan club Hercules where he arrived a week after the winter break had ended.

Most recently, after a move to Russian club Alania Vladikavkaz, he was filmed allegedly drinking while driving.

And now he is set to arrive on Nigel Adkins’ doorstep – undoubtedly talented but with baggage both literal and metaphorical.

But should the move ultimately work, Reading will owe the new Manchester United manager a considerable debt of gratitude. Because while the Dutchman failed to make the most of his opportunity with the Toffees, he has gone on record to explain the impact Moyes had on him.

Speaking in February he said, “I can only say that Moyes was right in every way. I was not living like a professional player in Liverpool.

Now I can’t believe I blew it at Everton. It is one of the most fantastic clubs in the Premier League.

My attitude and poor mentality are the reasons I ruined my career there.”

As he readies himself for a move to the Madejski Stadium, he will surely remember his last experience of English football.

In which case, Reading may be on the verge of signing a belatedly-polished gem.

What are Everton fans' memories of Drenthe?  And are Reading fans excited about his potential signing?

image: © juanjaen

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