Over the years the Dutch Eredivisie has always been a hunting ground for some of Europe’s biggest clubs especially when it comes to striking talent.
Luis Suarez, Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo, Marco Van Basten, Romario; the list is endless.
This summer looks like being no different as the hunt for Vitesse Arnhem striker Wilfried Bony picks up every day. The Ivorian front-man has had a stellar campaign; netting 32 goals in 32 appearances in all competitions.
The likes of SL Benfica, West Ham, Fulham, CSKA Moscow, Liverpool, Newcastle United and many others have all been linked with a move for the powerful forward this summer with Anzhi Makhachkala recently emerging as the favourites to acquire the player.
But Chelsea’s apparent interest in the player will also not dissipate.
Chelsea have an excellent working relationship with the Dutch outfit and with Fernando Torres being labelled ‘so-so’ by Jose Mourinho and just Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba in support there is certainly scope for further striking reinforcements.
And at the prices being quote his purchase would be mere pocket money for Roman Abramovich.
So could Mourinho make a move for Bony? If he did it would see the continuation of one of the most interesting trends in Mourinho’s career to date; an inability to pick up a good striker from Holland.
Currently the signing of winger Arjen Robben is the only real success; but in similar style to Andre Schurrle this deal was actually confirmed way before Chelsea had even made contact with Mourinho about taking the job. So calling Robben a ‘Mourinho signing’ is not exactly on point.
But when he snapped up Mateja Kezman from the same PSV Eindhoven outfit he had picked up a Serbian striker just waiting for a chance to prove his goal-scoring merits on the bigger stage.
But despite scoring 129 goals for PSV in just four seasons he mustered just seven in his one disappointing campaign in London and proved a waste of £5.3 million.
Next up was Salomon Kalou. Signed for a whopping £9 million from Feyenoord he spent the majority of his time at Chelsea playing out of position on the wing and never settled; finally leaving on a free transfer last summer.
And last but not least, lucky number three, Marko Arnautovic. Jose snapped him up on loan from FC Twente whilst at Inter Milan; with the potential to complete a permanent £7 million deal should his time be a success.
It wasn’t; Mourinho claimed he had the attitude ‘of a child’ and spent most of his time getting up to mischief with Mario Balotelli.
He left for Werder Bremen in 2010 without scoring a goal for Inter Milan.
Since then Mourinho has failed to dive into the Dutch market once again as it remains his Achilles heel; but Bony could prove his chance to right that wrong.
Or he may steer well clear on this occasion.
image: © psgmag.net