Van la Parra didn’t really make an impact at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Huddersfield Town or Brighton and Hove Albion – but he’s doing alright now.
It’s been a difficult start to the season for Wolverhampton Wanderers but, on days like this, it’s worth looking back and remembering how far you’ve come.
Wolves finished seventh in the Premier League last season and they’re now playing European football for the first time in 40 years with a squad full of established internationals like Ruben Neves, Rui Patricio, Joao Moutinho and Raul Jimenez.
The days of Rajiv Van la Parra and Kenny Jackett feel like light years away.
It was 2014 when Van la Parra joined Wolves on a free from Heerenveen and it’s fair to say he didn’t leave a lasting impression on the Molineux faithful. After just two goals in 57 appearances, the jet-heeled Dutchman was sold to Huddersfield Town. Good riddance.
But, flash forward to the present day and while Wolves are taking part in the Europa League group stages for the first time, Van la Parra has gone one step better.
The Rotterdam-born 28-year-old moved to Serbia this summer with Red Star Belgrade and now he’s taking on full-backs on the biggest stage of all – the Champions League.
Van La Parra was even on the winning side as Red Star came from behind to sun Olympiakos 3-1 on Tuesday. He’s already played 90 minutes against Bayern Munich with the number 91 on his back and, later this year, he’ll return to England to take on Tottenham Hotspur.
it just goes to show, football really can surprise you.