It would be extremely advantageous if Luc Castaignos found his best form as a higher price would benefit his club, however it is not the easiest task.

  • By Chaka Simbeye
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castaignos jjA hamstrung Luc Castaignos needed help limping off the pitch at FC Twente’s 2-0 home win over PEC Zwolle in what provided another sharp turn in what has been the rigorously bendy road that is his career. The striker was experiencing a dip in form after a six goal in ten game start to the season as an eye injury saw his form flitter away. Both player and club need an in-form Castaignos as getting a favourable fee for him would provide the Enschede side with some respite for their financial difficulties while also earning the striker a better move.

The 22 year-old who spent his formulative years at Feyenoord’s illustrious youth academy to be promoted and impress for their first team, earned a quickfire move to Internationale after his breakout season in 2010/11. It proved a tumultuous time but a valued learning experience as by July 2012, he found himself back in the Eredevisie at FC Twente who along with Kyle Ebecilio (a year later) from Arsenal brought two stray youngsters back home. Last season, Castaignos scored 15 goals in 31 appearances to which only Alfred Finnbogason and Graziano Pelle managed to score more. It seemed that the young Dutchman would follow the latter to the Premier League as Swansea City and Newcastle United were interested but a move never materialised.

Speculation arose in late January that Tottenham and their chairman Daniel Levy would make a late move in the winter market for him but upon further investigation, a much more scandalous operation was uncovered. Some opportunistic fraudsters (that had nothing to do with him) had forged FC Twente vice-chairman Joop Munterman’s signature onto a false document alerting clubs of the player’s ‘availability’. Further investigation proved that not only Tottenham had received this document but it had made it to the MLS too, when in actual fact a transfer would have fallen through before negotiations had even started.

At that time FC Twente were themselves being investigated for financial irregularities which would then lead to three points being deducted and closure of their youth team. On the pitch, most players like Luc were experiencing a dip in form. However, it should be known that Castaignos has pulled himself from the face of adversity before as he slowly but surely found his way back in Enschede. He currently has a solid 10 goals to his name in the Eredivise this season and although it is slipping further behind the likes of Luuk De Jong and Memphis Depay’s goal returns, it is still decent.

All this fuss has been made of a player that Manchester United coach and former Dutch youth coach Albert Stuivenburg once believed had a similar style to one Thierry Henry. A stalky, long legged striker with a thin lanky frame that has thrived in the lone striker role as he thrives in bringing his teammates into play with a short passing game. He is incredibly comfortable with drifting out wide and vacating the central spot for a teammate or holding the ball up and dropping deep to allow teammates to roam past him while also being a sharpshooter in front of goal. At FC Twente there has been a constant change of the personnel around him with Nacer Chadli joining Tottenham two seasons ago while most recently Dusan Tadic joined Southampton in the summer. They have been replaced with Jesus Corona, Hakim Ziyech and Youness Mokhtar.
Castaignos will miss this weekend’s action with his injury and although it is certainly not ideal for him with 7 games left, he should not be counted out. The renaissance of Dutch strikers like Luuk De Jong and Bas Dost should certainly serve as a proving point that with hard work, patience and perserverance although it isn’t his time, there is light at the end of tunnel.

Chaka Simbeye (69 Posts)