Dutch U21 star Jeroen Lumu plays first game in England

Derby County West Stand

Currently a free agent after leaving Heerenveen, Holland U21 international Jeroen Lumu played in a behind closed doors friendly for Derby County against Burnley on Tuesday.

Once known as a wonderkid, and targeted by some of the biggest teams in the world, it’s safe to say Lumu’s career hasn’t panned out the way he would have hoped.

At just 17, the wide-forward made a huge impact in Eredivisie, scoring just 13 minutes into his debut, becoming the club’s youngest ever goal-scorer in the Dutch first division.

Manchester United and Arsenal reportedly sent scouts to watch the ‘Dutch sensation’ along with Aston Villa and Fulham who were also linked with interest in the fleet-footed attacker.

In January this year, the Dutch youth international signed for Champions League side Ludogorets for a relatively low fee - €150,000 - and played a huge part in their eventual title win.

Lumu, who also netted on his debut in a friendly with Pirin Blagoevgrad, netted an important last-minute goal on the last day in May against CSKA Sofia, all but guaranteeing a third successive A PFG title for Ludogorets. Despite his role in the title win, the youngster moved back to Holland and joined up with SC Heerenveen.

However, after just one sub appearance for the Eredivisie club, it was announced that his contract would be terminated with immediate effect due to the club and the player having ‘different views on what was deemed necessary to be a professional football player.

Steve McClaren, who signed Shaquille McDonald following a contract termination, is obviously not averse to giving talented young players a second chance after an early set-back in their career.

Lumu helped the Rams to a comfortable 2-1 victory over Burnley and will now wait to hear the verdict on a possible future with the club.

Derby have a category one academy and do participate in the Under-21 Premier League. So, even if McClaren doesn’t believe Lumu is quite ready for first-team action, he may still have a chance at landing a deal with the East Midland’s club in a youth team role.

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