Former Ajax coach Jaap Stam looks to be assembling a Reading squad ready for a promotion push in his first ever campaign as a manager. One of his new acquisitions – Roy Beerens, could be key in his attempt to reach the Premier League.

  • By Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter

beerens kkFellow Dutchmen Joey van den Berg and Danzell Gravenberch have already joined the Royals, so what can be made of Beerens?

The 28-year-old was rejected by PSV as a youngster but came back stronger by rebuilding his reputation with Heerenveen, where he scored 27 times in 143 appearances in all competitions. His four impressive years with the Frisians, plus his two international caps, were enough to earn Beerens a €1.5 million move to AZ in 2011.

His finest years up to now came with AZ, the forward’s three seasons in Alkmaar brought 134 games and 13 goals, in which he won the Dutch Cup and enjoyed two runs to the Europa League quarter-finals in 2012 and 2014. Thus Beerens is a player of good pedigree.

It’s a shame then that Beerens failed to make an impact with Hertha in the Bundesliga. Following a lukewarm first term in Germany, the Dutchman was almost left out completely last season, playing a mere five games.

Beerens was tempted by a move back to the Eredivisie this summer, but will now intend to evoke his previous form in the Championship, which is somewhere his skill set is suited.

The winger has good speed, dribbling, and finishing. Beerens is at his best when taking on a man and using short bursts of pace to beat them and deliver either a ball into the box or to get a shot away.

On the downside, his European record could suggest why he has struggled against the tougher opposition found in Germany. His 40 appearances in the Europa League throughout his career have brought no goals.

That said, Beerens had never been a major source for goals in the Netherlands. Despite standing out for AZ between 2011 and 2014, he only scored between three and five times in each Eredivisie campaign.

However, you cannot knock Beerens for missing chances, as his composure in front of goal, when presented with opportunities, is admirable. A certain chipped finish springs to mind when playing for AZ against Vitesse, where Beerens brushed off the attentions of the opposing defender, picked himself up and ignored the advancing goalkeeper to lift the ball delightfully into the net.

Can Beerens be a success in England?

In the Championship, yes definitely. Although Jaap Stam has mentioned Beerens’ aptitude playing on both wings, he is best played off the right side, where he can truly stretch the play and deliver a cross on his stronger foot. He’s not an inverted winger (unlike Royston Drenthe).

Beerens should be expected to be a starter for Reading. He’s direct, quick and always dangerous in creating opportunities for strikers.

Michael Statham (821 Posts)

Writer/interviewer/YouTuber for Football-Oranje. Massive Dutch football fan from the UK. Follow me @EredivisieMike & subscribe to Football-Oranje on YouTube.