The flying winger has been linked with moves to the Premier League since then, and in particular it has been Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City that have supposedly been most interested in the player, and now according to our friends at German newspaper Bild and Tribal Football it appears that his club Hamburg have given the go ahead to other sides to bid for the player.
Elia began his career playing in his native Holland with Den Haag whom he joined in 1996 when he was just 9! Crazy I know! He worked his way through the youth academy and made his first appearance for the club in the 04-05 season when he was 17. He stayed with them for three seasons before he switched to Eredivisie side Twente. He had an extremely successful couple of seasons with them, and Bundesliga side Hamburg signed him before the start of the 09-10 campaign for around £7.5million.
Now approaching the end of his second season in Germany, it appears that his club could be ready to cash in on the 24 year old, their technical director Bastian Reinhardt has said:
“In sporting terms we would like to keep him, but when we receive a good offer …”.
Sadly another case where we would prefer a sporting figure to be more upfront and open, but what does remain clear is that the club recognise him as a fine talent, but maybe that they would be open to selling him should the right offer come in. Bild claim that Hamburg would accept £12million for the player which would represent a pretty good piece of business by the German giants.
Elia has often talked of his desire to play for a bigger club, and if Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City follow up their interest, then he may get his wish. City have a history of doing business with Hamburg, having signed Nigel De Jong, Vincent Kompany and Jerome Boateng from the German side and that may give them a good chance of securing the pacey winger. At times this year they have lacked pace down the flanks and Elia would certainly offer that, the money would not be a problem for Roberto Mancini and having played with the Dutch winger before, Jerome Boateng may be in a good position to sell the club to him.
Liverpool also have a real need for width in their squad, but comparisons to fellow Dutchman Ryan Babel might worry the Anfield faithful, and they may prefer to go for a safer option, or someone that has prior knowledge of the Premier League. Arsenal too have shown interest in Elia in the past, but recently that has died down somewhat. The Gunners are not short of electric wingers, but Elia may rejuvenate them should they move Arshavin or Rosicky on this Summer.
£12million represents a decent bet for me, I think Elia has the skillset required to be a very good player in the Premier League, he has done well in Germany and I think that would suggest that he could also excel in England. Whether anyone decides to take Hamburg up on their offer remains to be seen, but this is one that might be worth watching as Summer gets nearer.
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