On the back of scoring a stunning 54 goals in just 81 appearances in the Netherlands, Lars Veldwijk’s arrival to Nottingham Forest back in the summer of 2014 was understandably welcomed by the City Ground faithful and at just £500,000, he was seen as a potential ‘bargain of the season’.
However, strikers arriving from Netherlands have usually tended to be either huge hits or terrible failures in England and the Forest man can most certainly be put into the latter category following a horrendous debut campaign.
In a total of 14 appearances, Veldwijk failed to find the back of the net on even one occasion and it was no surprise whatsoever in seeing the striker drafted out on loan to PEC Zwolle last season.
It is now widely expected that Forest will be looking to dispense with the services of Veldwijk this summer and the Nottingham Post have recently claimed that Scottish giants Celtic are interested in the services of the 24-year-old.
Despite the fact that Veldwijk failed to make an impact at the City Ground and the apparent interest in his services this summer, Nottingham Forest should think about giving the Dutchman one more opportunity during the upcoming campaign.
By looking at things from only the surface level, Veldwijk’s debut season at Forest can be seen as an unmitigated disaster. If we analyze more closely though, one can clearly see why he failed to make an impact.
In his 11 appearances in the Championship, the Dutchman did not even start on a single occasion and was afforded a total of just 110 minutes altogether, which is clearly not enough time for a striker to prove himself in a completely different environment.
Many also suspected that Veldwijk was massively overrated as his stunning 30 goals for Excelsior, which were scored in the Eerste Divisie (Netherlands’ second division), was simply not achieved at a high enough level for the striker to be able to translate such a success in England as well.
Nonetheless, Veldwijk has managed to lay the doubts about his qualities firmly to rest after managing 14 goals in 35 appearances in the Dutch Erevidisie last season for a midtable side such as Zwolle. Therefore if the 24-year-old is given a good run of games, there is no reason why he could not be as successful in the Championship as well.
Along with the former FC Utrecht man, Forest also boast strikers such as Britt Assombalonga, Matty Fryatt and new signing Apostolos Vellios and such a quality attacking lineup could certainly boost Phillippe Montanier’s side’s chances of promotion next season.
With Veldwijk having only a year to run on his current deal, Forest would admittedly be tempted to cash in if a good offer comes along but the Dutchman could genuinely fire the Reds to promotion and keeping hold him would be worth the potential financial loss.