Klaas-Jan Huntelaar says that he’s comfortable in Germany, but thinks of England from time to time…
The Dutchman rose to prominence Ajax, flopped with both Real Madrid and AC Milan, then found a second home in the Bundesliga with Schalke.
Arsenal’s focus with respect to Gelsenkirchen these days centres entirely around the reported pursuit of Julian Draxler, but just over 12 months ago it was Huntelaar roaming about in the Gunners’ thoughts.
A contract with Die Knappen set to expire last summer had the north London outfit on alert – with Liverpool also believed to be interested ahead of the eventual arrival of Daniel Sturridge.
A total of 77 goals in a Schalke shirt ahead of December 2012 had ‘The Hunter’ in high repute, seeing him become a regular in the Netherlands national side and an object of envy from top clubs once more.
But he would ink a new contract with his current employers just prior to the new year to effectively end the pursuit of a potential cut-rate deal for his services.
And since, the striker has fallen on hard times. A series of devastating injuries have limited him to just 13 appearances from New Year’s Day 2013 on as he turned 30 back in August.
Huntelaar maintains that he’s comfortable in his current environment – even if he’s barely been on the pitch of late – yet has admitted he has thoughts of the Premier League in his head.
“I still have a year-and-a-half contract with Schalke and there is time to figure out whether or not to renew," he told Bild.
“I’m fine here in Germany and the Bundesliga and Premier League are the two most competitive divisions.
“England? Sometimes I think of it, it’s a big league like the German one.
“I feel young and fit – I’d like to play another ten years at a high level.”
The irony of Huntelaar’s evaluation of his own health isn’t lost here – after all he’s shown just three times for Schalke this term.
However, he did make a triumphant return to action at the weekend, bagging the opener for his side in a 3-0 win against Hamburg – his first minutes since August.
Even if the Dutch international is open to a Premier League switch, is it certain that clubs would have him?
Having hit the 30-year-old mark amidst persistent injury troubles would be a major worry for suitors – he’d certainly be a gamble.
But if anybody is willing to take a punt on him – provided it’s at the right price of course – they might find a serious clinical finisher on their hands, should he be able to consistently lace up his boots again.
image: © tpower1978