Feyenoord went from having John Guidetti and Graziano Pelle as strikers to having Colin-Kazim Richards and Michel Kramer upfront. The little-known 26-year-old Dane who had stints at Bayer Leverkusen and FC Kaiserslautern in Germany before finding his feet as a striker in his homeland for FC Kobenhavn has now become their saving grace. The signing of the mobile striker has proved to be an astute piece of business for the much-maligned Feyenoord technical director Martin Van Geel.

Kazim-Richards and Kramer struggled to replicate the goals and all-round play of Pelle which made him a force in the Eredivisie, Premier League and at International level for Italy. Kazim-Richards was deployed in the centre under Fred Rutten for his mobility to bring more fluidity to Feyenoord’s front line while Kramer brought height and more presence to the Rotterdammers’ front line. Kazim-Richards missed pivotal chances as he was not a natural central striker and Kramer was not the level of striker that Feyenoord needed to mount a proper challenge for the Eredivisie title.

Jorgensen arrived after a brilliant season with Kobenhavn and he opened his account in an opening day 5-0 away thrashing of Groningen with a goal and an assist. His first 10 games at Feyenoord amounted to 7 goals and 4 assists with a match-winning assist to Tonny Vilhena against Manchester United as in games where he failed to find the back of the net, he was at the heart of creating the pivotal chances. 22-year-old Turk Bilal Basacikoglu has played intermittently this season and has six assists with one of the best minute to assist ratios in the Eredivisie as five of his six assists have been for Jorgensen.

Jorgensen’s supporting cast have enjoyed playing with a striker of his ilk as Jens Toornstra has 10 goals and 8 assists this season, Eljero Elia has 7 goals and 7 assists this season, Dirk Kuyt with 11 goals and 5 assists in all competitions and Steven Berghuis with 5 goals and 3 assists. Feyenoord has scored the most goals in the Eredivisie as the partnerships that Jorgensen is capable of making in the final third have helped fire them to the precipice of glory. Against Utrecht with Feyenoord 3-1 down, he scored the goal to make it 3-2 before heading the ball to Kramer to equalise in the dying moments of the game. That was just one of nine games where the Dane has had his hand in more than one goal during the game.

Feyenoord have a fluid structure in possession with either Karim El Ahmadi or Vilhena pushing forward with Rick Karsdorp pushing forward while Jens Toornstra raids the half-spaces as Dirk Kuyt makes runs behind Jorgensen with Elia pulling wide making Feyenoord a difficult team to defend against. Even in the games that Jorgensen doesn’t score in, he doesn’t go missing as against PSV, he did not score but completed 80% of his passes and created 4 chances with 1 assist in a 2-1 victory. His ability to be both selfless and clinical is what has made this rare specimen so integral to Feyenoord’s campaign for the title.

He is always wondering in the right positions in the box to pounce on a loose ball to score at any moment as AZ Alkmaar and Heerenveen have both learned in recent games. Against AZ at De Kuip, the away team cleared a corner to not pressure Rick Karsdorp appropriately as he found Jorgensen with the perfect ball for the Dane to open the scoring. In Feyenoord’s last match against Heerenveen, Berghuis played in El Ahmadi with a sumptuous pass for the midfielder to have a cut back deflected into the path of an unassuming Jorgensen by some careless Heerenveen defenders for him to tap in his 19th goal of the season.

His goal against AZ was one of a hat-trick as he also scored a penalty and dribbled Krul and tapped into an empty net in a 5-2 thrashing. He has 4 goals and three assists in just two games against AZ as his hat-trick against the side also happened to be the first of his career.
“This is my first ever hat-trick. Maybe a little late, but I’m very happy, “said Jørgensen (26) to FOX Sports after the Feyenoord game. “Maybe I’ve made a practice game of three goals, but in a real game that never happened to me.”

The AZ game in which former Feyenoord and current Everton manager, Ronald Koeman was a spectator was a game which perfectly described Jorgensen as he finished with a hat-trick and two assists. He chested a ball into the path of Dirk Kuyt who volleyed past a hapless Krul as he finished the game with 4 shots and 3 goals, 2 chances created, 2 assists and 1 block. After the game FOX Sports told him that he was the first Feyenoord player to have double figures in goals and assists since Dirk Kuyt 11 years before as he answered in the same unassuming manner that he takes some of his goals.

“Really? That is a lot of fun. That does not happen often at Feyenoord, “said Jørgensen to FOX Sports.

Jorgensen’s ability to run the channels in Feyenoord’s approach play and lead the first wave of pressure when Feyenoord defend in a 4-1-4-1 shape have made him irreplaceable for the league leaders. He scored a brace in the Rotterdam derby in De Kuip earlier in the season as Toornstra made a brilliant run inside 18-year-old Rick Van Drongelen to be found by Karsdorp to cross for Jorgensen to tap in. For the second he took on a Kuyt header and played it to Elia who played it back to him so he could finish in a 6-1 victory.

Jorgensen is the Eredivisie’s leading scorer with 19 goals and joint top assister with 10 assists as Ajax’ Hakim Ziyech is on the same number. He has 23 goals and 11 assists in all competitions in his first season at Feyenoord while he takes 3 shots and makes 2 key passes per game according to WhoScored. He has a shot accuracy of 57%, won 46% of his duels and has managed to create an astounding 60 chances in all competitions according to Squawka.

“Maybe his way of playing is a bit like my way, but I never really compare strikers with myself. That makes little sense, because every striker is different,” said Feyenoord striker coach, Roy Makaay Feyenoord Magazine at the beginning of the month. “In the case of Nicolai was for example the conversion of a two-striker system, which he was accustomed, to a three-striker system.”

Ajax and PSV have been wasteful this season as Feyenoord and their striker have hit the back of the net with incredible consistency. Jorgensen faces the prospect of playing Ajax at the Amsterdam ArenA as Feyenoord look to take a crucial step closer to their first Eredivisie title since 1999. The Dane’s ability as an all-rounder has been a breath of fresh air to a team that needed it after a post winter break debacle kept them from challenging for the Eredivisie last season as he could fire them to glory this season.

Chaka Simbeye (69 Posts)