Ricky van Wolfswinkel has finally made his switch to the Premier League in favor of a move to Norwich City. The deal for the Canaries to sign the Dutch striker had been agreed a few months before the summer transfer window had opened, and as I have watched him during his time in Portugal at Sporting Lisbon, I know that Norwich have bagged themselves a very good striker in van Wolfswinkel. I am a fond admirer of Sporting Lisbon and was gutted that he was leaving the Alvalade club, but I was also pleased that he was finally getting the move that he deserved.
Van Wolfswinkel isn’t the quickest striker around, but he has a good aerial ability and is able to get into good spaces for his teammates to pick him out with a cross. He also has quite a decent strike rate, not just at Sporting Lisbon, but during his time in Holland at FC Utrecht and Vitesse Arnhem. Still, at the early age of 24, he has plenty of time to establish himself in the Premier League as a top striker and also at the international level, where he will look to boost his chances of making the Holland squad in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.
The Dutchman’s strike rate has gradually been improving each season - rising from an average of 1/4 goals per game in 2009 to over 3/4 per game in 2013 - and he is becoming more prolific in front of goal. This is probably something Norwich looked at when they were signing him. They recognized his potential and very potent style as a striker, and Norwich know that he will give them goals and will add to their strike force after struggling to find the net at times during last season. Norwich’s lack of flair in the attacking end meant that they were threatening relegation at times last season as well.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel isn’t the most physical of players, so adapting to the physical side of the English game may take him some time, and he will have to bulk up and spend time in the gym working on his upper body strength in order to compete with the Premier League defenders. His movement is one of his biggest strengths, as he finds pockets of space in and around the 18-yard area to create a scoring opportunity for himself. He is able to move away from defenders and his markers to enable his teammates to find him.
This is something which I had identified whilst he was at Sporting, and I have been a huge admirer of his style of play since I started watching him. Here is what Ricky van Wolfswinkel said about his exciting move to Norwich City:
“The coach (Chris Hughton) when I met him first made a good connection with me. That was the first thing. There was not really a lot to think about. I got a great impression. This move has come at the right time for me. Yes, perfect.”
“I started out in Holland, which is very technical football. Portugal is perhaps somewhere in between that style and England. I think my next step to Norwich and the Premier League is perfect. I am confident of scoring goals. That is part and parcel of my job but the most important thing for me is I am a team player. If I play well then I expect to score goals and I want to do both.”
“These are my qualities that I want to show. I know they say Portuguese football is more technical and the English more physical so I may have to make a few changes. It’s normal. I had the same when I first left Holland for Portugal. It will be different but I am not the type of player who needs much time to develop.”
At Norwich, van Wolfswinkel will only continue his progression as a player and I have no doubt that he will make an impression at Carrow Road. Providing he receives the right service, he will take his chances. At Sporting Lisbon, he was provided with chances by the likes of Bruma and Diego Capel, whose service was of a very good quality in order for Ricky to get the goals he needed. I for one am not surprised he made an impression on Norwich, as his ever improving strike rate speaks for itself. His intelligence and movement as a player is also of a high quality, so I really think Norwich have made a real coup in the signing of Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
Written by OneFutbol