Oliver Fisher looks at the situation surrounding Feyenoord’s need for a striker, compounded buy the non-return of Guidetti, and interest in Bas Dost.

  • By Oliver Fisher 
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guidetti bMartin van Geel produced the news that many Feyenoord supporters had not been wanting to hear; on the 23rd of August he ruled out the return of John Guidetti.

With doubts surrounding the current striker depth of Feyenoord, this was crushing news for many fans who wanted to see the Rotterdam hero return. The word ‘hero’ is perhaps exaggerative, but any player who scores a hat-trick in De Klassikier for either side is regarded very highly by the supporters of that team.

Fundamentally, it seems that the terms for the return of Guidetti were not quite right. As per van Geel’s interview, he states that “The risk is too great, especially given his high price tag.”

“We simply do not dare. I think it’s a shame, because based on his history here, he definitely deserved a second chance.”

Do not dare is perhaps a bit of a strong statement from my perspective as a Feyenoord fan, especially given the way he did perform for the club over that illustrious and career-redefining loan period. He did definitely deserve a second chance, as van Geel states, and despite the money from all the respective outgoings so far this summer, it is too much of a ‘risk investment’.

It is not known what the reported asking price is, but the rumour is that Manchester City want £4million to part with the talented young forward. And, perhaps, van Geel has a point. It isn’t necessarily a horrendous injury record that may dissuade potential buyers, but rather a limited amount of first team action for the Swedish forward.

Following the 2011-12 loan spell in which Guidetti netted 20 in 23 for Feyenoord, he has only played 6 first team games since, all in a loan spell at Stoke City in which he didn’t net.

Stoke City fans for the most part were calling for manager Mark Hughes to give him more game time, impressed with his ability on the ball and vision, as well as a technique. Following the Feyenoord spell it was evident that John is a good finisher, too, and the general opinion is that competitive game time is required to fine tune a well-rounded skill set.

Such is the power of Manchester City in this situation, a position in which they can use such promise and ability at a young age to bolster a price tag, but the management of Guidetti has simply stunted his development in my opinion. That is arguably another articles worth of points and opinions, but in the interest of not digressing, I shall move on.

Time is running out for the Rotterdam side and new boss Fred Rutten, who has seen his side win just one of all the competitive games so far this year, the latest hurdle being a 2-1 home defeat to FC Utrecht.

One scenario is that it is indeed all mind games, and Guidetti is indeed well and truly on the watch list, but for somebody in such a position of power to say such things means there is little hope.

Losing de Vrij, Janmaat, Martins-Indi and Pelle and replacing them with Wilkshere, Toornstra, Basacikoglu, Wilkshere, Hahn and Boulahrouz has left a lot to be desired. Without being disrespectful to the new additions, there is just so little excitement around the team, and a real lack of a goal threat.

Jean-Paul Boetius will develop and hopefully further improve his decision making, ideally chipping in with a few more goals, but the fact remains that in most eyes Mitchell te Vrede is not the answer at striker. Aside from only playing 37 first team games at the age of 24, the skill set and system of the team means he doesn’t quite fit in with the system. Sure, he may bag 15 this season, but the clinical nature of Graziano Pelle, in addition to his gargantuan ariel presence as a lone striker with two quality (in league relativity) wingers, leaves a lot to be desired with the current striker situation.

There are likely lots of names being considered in the hunt for a proven scorer, but there is something about the Guidetti situation that leaves a bit of a sour taste, not just about where goals are going to come from, but how this season as a whole is going to progress.

Bas Dost is one of the players being mentioned constantly in regards to a potential move to Feyenoord, and with Werder Bremen perhaps looking to move the Dutchman it may be a possibility that Dost is the answer.

Fantastic in the air with a great shot, Dost possesses a similar range of abilities to Pelle with fairly equivalent pace and ball control. He will not be anything other than a target man if implemented into the system, but with Boetius and Schaken terrorising down the flanks that may be all Feyenoord needs to kick start a goalscoring spree.

It is important not to get carried away though; I had my doubts as posted in my article regarding the job Fred Rutten has on his hands, and also in my season preview I doubted a top 3 finish, which based on the opening to the season I have seen nothing to alter my mindset. Dost would not be a 30-goal scorer and a single dependent offensive producer, but he could be a jigsaw piece for sure.

The longer the search for a striker goes on, the less there will be to choose from, and panic buying in this situation is more of a ‘risk investment’ than taking a punt on a healthy Guidetti would be.

Who knows how the remaining days in this transfer window will pan out for the side from Rotterdam and Fred Rutten’s boys, but in my view the funds must be made available for Rutten to help sculpt his team in the wake of such an influx of departures.

There are holes all over, and worrying times for Feyenoord may continue unless the right players are brought in. Until that moment, I am beginning to feel my prediction of 4th place may be a bit on the optimistic side.

Oliver Fisher (9 Posts)

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