Apparently on the radar of no fewer than seven Premier League sides and Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich. Eljero Elia looks set to become one of Europe’s hottest properties this summer. But just who is this Flying Dutchman? The Transfer Tavern asked Football Fancast columnist The New Voice of Football to investigate.
A pivotal member of the FC Twente side managed by the hapless grinning idiot and former England boss Steve McClaren that finished runners-up in the Dutch Eredivisie. 22-year-old Elia must be keeping Dutch airline KLM afloat all on his own in these hard times. Scouts from Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City, Villa, Hull, Everton and Blackburn understood to have made the short flight to Holland several times last season to watch the winger do his thing.
Speculation was rife during the January transfer window that Elia would leave the De Grolsch Veste, with the Gunners thought to be in pole position to sign the winger after Twente rejected an offer from Ajax labelling it insulting. A tad unfair on Hull, Blackburn and the Toffees, who were the first Premiership sides to, be linked with the Flying Dutchman, with Arsenal along with Spurs and City now all sniffing around Elia and armed with bigger bags of cash.
However, no move to the Emirates materialised, with Elia staying loyal causing Premier League scouts to continue to clock up the air-miles. Bayern now the latest team to join in the frenzy surrounding Elia, who revealed last month that he will definitely be moving on from Twente in the summer.
“This was a great season, for the club and me personally. Next season Twente will attempt to maintain and build on it, but it will happen without me,” Elia said after the Dutch Cup Final, where the Tukkers lost on penalties to Heerenveen after drawing 2-2, the winger scoring and laying on the other.
So the boy wants to be released from the shackles of the wally with a brolly. Not the first to want that and Eljero wont be the last, with the winger seemingly comfortable on both feet and on the evidence seen, has the ability to skin defenders on either side. A winger with blistering pace that also chips in with goals, Elia made his senior debut in the Eredivisie aged 17 for ADO Den Haag and can play as a striker or second striker if need be. Making the Dutch flyer very versatile, Henry like if a comparison had to be drawn.
Under contract at Twente until the summer of 2013, Elia has been capped by Holland at Under-21 and B level and was called into the senior Dutch squad for the first time earlier this year, but didn’t manage to make it on to the pitch. It surely just a matter of time before the winger makes his full international bow.
Valued in the region of £5.5million (£1.5m more than in January), which will escalate, given the number of clubs that will be trying to snare young Eljero this summer. Elia looks a quality player, though it remains to be seen if the winger can perform at the same level in the Premiership, which to be fair is a lot tougher than the Eredivisie.
So do you think the Flying Dutchman will Fly in the Premier League? Or will Elia Die on his backside like many before him in the best league in the world, should one of the English clubs snap him up this summer?Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!