Well, it’s happening. Just a few weeks after my article about why Feyenoord should try to keep their young stars, they are being sold off one by one to foreign clubs.

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So, Graziano Pellè has departed to join his former boss Ronald Koeman at Southampton, Daryl Janmaat has followed to England to join Newcastle, and Bruno Martins-Indi has left the nest for Lisbon; Porto more specifically.

A fairly desperate situation is beginning to emerge in Rotterdam. Some would argue otherwise, stating that this is a sign of how well the academy is working or how successful the club has been. Without wanting to repeat what I have said in previous articles, this is in no small part down to two factors. Number one: the World Cup performances of the young Oranje players, mostly formed of a Feyenoord defensive core that impressed throughout the tournament. And number two: the selling mentality of clubs in the Eredivisie.

The result is quite devastating, and many expect young midfield maestro Jordy Clasie and solid centre-back Stefan De Vrij to leave the club in the coming weeks. It’s a tough situation for Fred Rutten to be put into. While ideally he would like to enter and inherit a side that achieved second place and has a chance at the Champions League group stages, he doesn’t really have much say in the sales of the players it seems. Rather, his job has been to source high quality replacements; seen in the recent arrival of Khalid Boulahrouz on a free transfer.

As a Feyenoord supporter it must be distressing, concerning, frustrating and perhaps even demoralising to see this happen to the club they love. While the sales are bring in good transfer revenue (£9million for Pellè, £6million for Martins-Indi and £5million for Janmaat) I personally feel they could have gotten more, particularly for the latter two.

Both impressed on the biggest stage of all: the World Cup Finals, and if that doesn’t boost transfer fee heavily then it baffles me as to what does. Martins-Indi is young and Janmaat is very close to a complete right-back at just 24, and Rutten has just £11million (probably less with fees etc.) to source adequate replacements in vital positions. I expect Boulahrouz to start, as an experienced defender that has place in the top league with international caps under his belt he would certainly be my first choice at centre-back in the current squad to partner De Vrij (until he departs at least).

However, there is a more complex issue that needs to be addressed financially for Feyenoord; not all of the transfer income is spendable. As my friend Bas Vos (@Bas1411) reminded me on Twitter, Feyenoord still owes a €30million loan debt to a group called Vrienden van Feyenoord (Friends of Feyenoord). The group received a seat in the Directors Board and 49% of the shares, and now many fans want the shares and seat back as it feels like a weight on the back of the club. While some of the transfer revenue is spendable, it will also go a decent way to some of the debt repayments and helping the club become stable again.

So, what does this mean for the club in terms of competing? Well, the good news is that there should be enough in the budget to bring back fans favourite John Guidetti, providing his price is reasonable, something I will discuss in a follow up article. For now, the team appears to have being desperately promoting youth academy members to cover vacated spots in the depth chart. Desperate may be a little harsh considering this is how some of the aforementioned players received their chance to impress, and it has helped them ultimately become the players they are today.

For now, as Feyenoord supporters, all there is to do is sit, wait, and trust the new boss Fred Rutten. I’m sure the club will be linked with several transfer targets and the revenue will be reinvested (as much as it can be), but for now the attention must be turned to the other key players in the squad, such as dynamic wingers Boëtius and Schaken, as well as midfielders Lex Immers, Tonny Vilhena, and young defenders such as Terence Kongolo and Sven van Beek, for they are the future of Feyenoord.

What is left of the dismantled core must revitalise the team and carry the weight of hope and expectation, and continue taking this club back where it belongs: greatness.

Special thanks to Bas Vos.

Oliver Fisher (9 Posts)

Aspiring Sports Journalist and huge football fan, from Leeds, England. Follow @olifisher on Twitter