Huntelaarggggghhhh. The great enigma of the football world over the last few years, signed by the world’s greatest teams yet pushed towards the exit door before the ink has dried on his contract, a player that continues to frustrate.
Klass- Jan Huntelaar truly came to the attention of football fans during his time at Ajax, where he scored a fantastic 76 league goals in just 92 appearances, attracting the attention of clubs across Europe. With the world at his feet, Huntelaar made the move to Real Madrid in the 2008 January transfer window.
The move allowed the Dutchman to move to one of the bigger league in Europe, to prove his ability outside of the Netherlands. Unfortunately the move proved to be a disaster. Huntelaar was left out of Madrid’s Champions League squad, after already having played in the UEFA cup for Ajax earlier that season. The Spanish giants instead decided to select Lassana Diarra. After scoring eight goals in 20 appearances for Madrid, Real decided not to retain his services beyond the end of the season.
In August 2009 the Dutchman signed for Milan, where he continued to struggle early on, unable to bag his first goal for the club until November. Since January 2010 Huntelaar has continually been linked with a move to the Premier League, specifically Tottenham, as rumours persist that Milan have also been unconvinced with his contribution. His failure at Real Madrid appeared to be bad luck, at a club known, at times, to dispense with players quickly. His problems at Milan however have raised questions however about his ability to make an impact outside of the Netherlands.
Huntelaar, it appears, is too good for the Eredivisie but not good enough for either La Liga or Serie A. How then would he fare amongst the quality and intense atmosphere of the Premier League? Huntelaar seems to possess great finishing ability but perhaps lacks the confidence and character to represent the bigger clubs in the bigger leagues.
Further clouding judgment on the Dutchman however are his performances at international level for the Netherlands. As the all-time top scorer for the under-21s with 18 goals in 22 appearances and 15 goals in 30 appearances for the senior side, Huntelaar appears to be one of the deadliest strikers in the game. Named in the final squad for the 2010 World Cup, many fans will be interested to see how far the Netherlands progress and his performances against the better sides should the team do well. What greater stage to prove his doubters wrong than in the greatest football tournament of all.