Feyenoord have apparently turned their attention to another target after their loan deal for Steven Berghuis collapsed.
Reports in the Dutch media said a combination of Berghuis’ wages, the size of the loan fee and Watford being hesitant about letting a player who performed so well on the international stage in the summer are all factors that combined for the deal to hit the buffers.
With Almen Abdi nearing the exit, Watford may also be reluctant to let another attacking player depart before landing one of their targets. Berghuis’ agent, Mino Raiola, is also busy with the Paul Pogba to Manchester United transfer.
Feyenoord have long been admirers of the 24-year-old Berghuis and were monitoring his situation long before he created two assists in games against Republic of Ireland, Poland and Austria. Berghuis, we understand, agitated for a move back to AZ Alkmaar in January but the Hornets blocked the switch.
“At the beginning I was in a bit of a hurry [to play]. I wanted to play and wasn’t playing,” Berghuis told us in an exclusive interview in March. “I trained not good at that moment and my attitude was also not good. After the winter, when I decide to stay and not go on loan somewhere, I had a good attitude and trained well and I was not involved in the squad still.”
Berghuis still mustered only nine substitute appearances and it still takes some deciphering how he did not start the final three games of the season against Liverpool, Norwich and, in particular, Sunderland. Berghuis was signed, on a four-year-deal for £4.5m from Alkmaar, with the idea of playing on the left or right wing.
“I’m a little bit unlucky with the style of play,” said Berghuis told us. “You see our team every week – we play a bit of a different style. We have two strong strikers and we get the ball to them quick so it’s difficult for me, this type of style. The style we play, without wingers, [means] it’s difficult for me to get in the team.”
Berghuis has the same issue again under Walter Mazzarri. He clearly does not fit the mould of a wing-back in a 3-5-2 while Sofian Boufal is the primary target if Mazzarri decides he wants to play a 3-4-1-2 system. Boufal, however, is recovering from a knee problem and won’t be fit until September. Berghuis will not be happy playing second fiddle or with a peripheral role this season.
“To stay at Watford, I should now be 100 per cent sure that I can get a lot of minutes,” he told Dutch media during the summer. “It is difficult because if the club tells me to stay then I will respect my contract until the summer of 2019.”