Whilst both Liverpool and Tottenham head into the transfer market this summer hoping to boost their chances of Champions League qualification next term, both clubs let Norwich City’s new signing fly right under their radar.
Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel is a fantastic acquisition for Norwich and at just €10 million from Sporting in Portugal, he’s an absolute and I simply can’t wrap my head around why none of the top six clubs in the Premier League were interested in him.
The 24-year-old scored 20 goals in all competitions this term and in the last two seasons running in the Portuguese Primeira Liga he scored 14 goals, averaging just over a goal every two games for Sporting.
At 6ft1” he’s ideally suited to the rough and tumble of the English game and his technical ability is superb – he’s a real poacher in front of goal and his movement is intelligent.
At his age, he’s entering the peak years of his career and he’ll likely play out the best part of his career with Norwich after signing a 4-year contract with the Canaries.
With all due respect to Norwich who have found themselves probably one of the best signings of the summer so far in the Dutchman, one would have though clubs like Tottenham and Liverpool would have at the very least been scouting him.
Tottenham especially, given manager Andre Villas-Boas’ knowledge of his native Portugal. Spurs are desperate for a striker and neither Jermain Defoe nor Emmanuel Adebayor matched Van Wolfswinkel’s tally this term.
Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers signed Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas for around the same price – he’s 25 and scored just 12 goals in all competitions this term. The season before that he was playing in the Spanish second tier.
Kudos to Norwich for making such a fantastic signing but I think it also speaks bounds that he went there – I can’t imagine a top player going to Norwich if they’d have had other offers on the table from clubs like Liverpool and Tottenham which suggests there was probably no one else interested in him.
I have a feeling this season Van Wolfswinkel will have a similar effect on the Premier League as Michu did for Swansea City. Michu was obviously a far more astute bargain purchase but I think the big clubs have really taken their eye off the ball on this one.
I fully expect Ricky van Wolfswinkel to hit the Premier League by storm next term, leaving everyone else scratching their heads and wondering ‘why weren’t we looking at him?’
image: © Vincent Teeuwen