Steven Berghuis has no regrets about joining Watford and passing up the chance to stay in Holland and join PSV Eindhoven.
Berghuis had been called into Holland’s training squad when he started negotiating a four-year contract with Watford after AZ Alkmaar accepted a bid of around £4.5m for their star player. Yet Berghuis now cannot get in his club’s matchday squad let alone stake a claim for a call up to the national team.
“I understand that people are now saying that I should have gone to PSV, but I did not feel that the club wanted to pick me at all,” Berghuis said in an interview with Fox Sports. “My feeling was their preference more towards Maxime Lestienne and Gastón Pereiro. So that also did not grab me. PSV, Watford or remain in AZ? That haunted all the time in my head. For me it was a very difficult choice. I was important to AZ, was close to the Dutch team. What do you do at such a moment? I deliberated very much, but I got up and fully support my choice for Watford. It’ll be fine.”
Berghuis, 23, is yet to start a competitive game for his new club, even having to be content with a place on the bench against Preston. He has been given just 70 minutes of Premier League action.
“My opportunities will come,” he said. “I hate that I can not play, but the club has not laid out more than six million [euros] for me in vain,” he said. “I know what I can do and must simply be patient. Watford is a step up and it is logical that you’re not equally as important as I was at AZ. I really do not panic. It’s difficult to show an example with 15 minutes in the squad. Then you’re right in time with and make your mark in a short time to try again. Here there are other things asked of me than there were at AZ. This requires adjustment, which takes time. My will opportunities come, I’m sure. No one needs to worry.”
The slight Dutchman is spending extra time in the gym in a bid to bulk up and stand a better chance of being able to withstand the rigours of the Premier League. Quique Sanchez Flores has spoken before about his determination to get Berghuis up to speed and the satisfaction he will get when he succeeds.
“People pay a lot of attention to me,” Berghuis said. “That gives confidence. We stand eleventh in the Premier League and there are a lot of internationals around. That says something. I am a football lover and want to play games. Preferably as soon as possible. That’s the best thing there is. “If I get the opportunity to start several games in a row, then I must make sure I’m there. Simple as that really.”