After his dismal time in East Anglia with Norwich City, Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel is once again enjoying his football. On a season-long loan at Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne, the forward has played his part in helping the club push up to third in the league and they were unlucky to be knocked out of the Coupe de la Ligue this week.
Speaking with Dutch newspaper Voetbal International, the 25-year-old has insisted that he isn’t concentrating on what happens at the end of the season, and is putting all his efforts in helping Saint-Etienne exceed expectations.
"We are placed at the top. Before the season, it was defined that fourth place, the same as last year, would be the target," he said.
"That's always the goal and it would be an achievement for the team. This championship is so hard, we are now challenging clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain, Bordeaux and Monaco. That says a lot.
"Saint-Etienne have the option to buy me at the end of the season, but for now I am only concentrating on my season. If we continue this good form with the team, we'll see what happens to me in the future."
In 18 starts this campaign, the former Sporting Lisbon and FC Utrecht forward has scored five goals and added five assists, settling into his new surroundings more and more with each game he plays for Christophe Galtier’s side.
Since November, van Wolfswinkel has been on an excellent run, scoring every other game, which should see him hit the target against Rennes on Sunday after he was shut out against Stade de Reims last weekend.
The Dutch striker has started the last nine league games and after coming under some early criticism from Galtier, his all-round game and ability to lead the line have made him an integral part of the Les Verts attack.
With the return to fitness of Mevlut Erding, van Wolfswinkel’s place is under threat, now begins his biggest challenge. He will need to prove that he can be the long-term option for the Rhone club, helping them keep their place at the top of the table and then Saint-Etienne may look to keep the Norwich striker beyond the summer.