Football News

Could Santiago Gimenez be the man to break the Premier League’s Eredivisie curse?

By Harry Edwards

Published: 15:52, 2 October 2023 | Updated: 10:37, 4 October 2023

Feyenoord striker Santiago Gimenez is reportedly catching the eyes of a number of Premier League clubs.

The 22-year-old signed from Mexican club Cruz Azul last summer and had a good debut campaign, scoring 28 goals in 50 games across all competitions. Fifteen of those came in the Eredivisie as Feyenoord wrapped up the league title, with Gimenez netting more than any of his teammates.

Across the rest of the division, only three players scored more than Gimenez, and the Mexican was just five goals behind top scorer Tasos Douvikas. But he has started the new season in fantastic fashion. After seven games, Gimenez leads the race to be top scorer in the Eredivisie with 10 goals — already just five behind his total from last season, in 25 fewer matches.

It’s no surprise to see Gimenez way outperforming his metrics from last season.

As well as scoring much more frequently at 1.62 goals per 90 minutes compared to 0.7, Gimenez is also taking more shots at 5.2 to 4.02 with a better accuracy of 50% to 33.72%. The conversion rate is much better, too, only needing 3.2 shots per goal this season compared to 5.73 in 2022/23, though he is having the same amount of shots on target per 90.

There was then the bizarre hat-trick he scored against Ajax across 71 hours recently, netting twice before the game was postponed and then getting his third when it resumed a few days later.

Gimenez has also equalled his assists total for last season, setting up teammates twice so far from 10 chances created. It might be easy to see why there is such a difference in the numbers, as Gimenez only really hit his stride in the second half of the previous campaign. Of his 15 goals in the Eredivisie, 13 came after the winter break, including a run of scoring in eight consecutive matches (nine goals).

Across Europe’s top seven divisions, just six players have scored 20+ goals in 2023, with Gimenez on 23. He outscores Victor Osimhen (22), is level with Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe and Lautaro Martinez, and only Harry Kane (25) has netted more.

His performances have seen the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea — as well as Real Madrid — all linked with a move for Gimenez, whose future you feel is definitely away from the Eredivisie.

However, he may be wary of a move to the Premier League.

Gimenez isn’t the first Eredivisie goalscorer to catch the eyes of a Premier League side, but the strikers making that switch have had varied success. Jurgen Locadia was the most recent striker to switch the Eredivisie for the Premier League, joining Brighton from PSV in January 2018. Over four years at the English side, Locadia scored just six goals in 46 games, with only three goals in 35 coming in the Premier League. He was the Seagulls’ record-signing at the time too.

The likes of Vincent Janssen, Jozy Altidore, Afonso Alves and Mateja Kezman have all failed to translate their Eredivisie goalscoring form in the Premier League over the years. But for every Locadia or Alves, there is a Wilfried Bony or Luis Suarez. Suarez remains the most-successful Eredivisie to Premier League striker transfer, netting 82 goals in just 133 games and almost steering Liverpool to the title in 2013/14.

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