Having been referenced as part of the unwanted nine, Royston Drenthe appears to have been chucked out with the bath-water at the Bernabeu as Real look to shift the dead-wood from their playing staff as they welcome the latest collection of galacticos to Madrid.
The past two years have been difficult for the Dutchman with the Edgar Davids locks. Drenthe rose to prominence after impressing at the Under-21 European Championships back in 2007, scooping the player of the tournament award, and Madrid moved quickly to ensure that they signed him from Feyenoord for â‚¬14 million, ahead of the likes of Chelsea and Barcelona.
But since arriving at Los Blancos Drenthe has failed toÂ establish himself as a starter on the left-hand side, finding himself playing second-fiddle to Marcelo for a spot at left-back while rarely being able to hold down a place of the left-side of midfield. In total Drenthe has made just under 50 appearances for Madrid in which he contributed a measly three goals.
While in Spain, Drenthe has grown a distasteful reputation and finding his behaviour splashed across the backpages. The Dutchman was repeatedly reported as having a bad attitude to finding himself on the bench, with Drenthe said to have stormed out of training in protest on at least one occasion, while only several weeks ago he was criticised for his behaviour during the match with Villarreal at the end of the season. (See here.)
Yet it is all too easy to pigeonhole Drenthe as yet another moody Dutchman. With a silky left-peg, bags of pace, a low centre of gravity and a full arsenal of tricks, Drenthe has the potential to be great. Best suited as the link between midfield and attack Drenthe unquestionably has the ability and talent to play at the highest levels.
On the downside, Drenthe has to work on his goal scoring and shooting. Too often the Dutchman fluffs opportunities in front of goal, and this is one area of his game which definitely requires hard work and improvement.
Arguably though, Drenthe’s biggest problem is his maturity. Aside from his off-the-field antics, on the pitch many have labelled Drenthe as mimicking a headless chicken over the past two seasons at Real, regularly seen running down blind-alleys rather than showing the composure and guile to retain possession for his team. But, at just 22-years-old the attacker has time on his side, and prospective employers would be foolish to write off Drenthe at this early stage.
According to reports coming out of Italy, Genoa and Fiorentina have both declared an interest in signing the player from Madrid, with suggestions being that the Dutchman will originally move on loan for an initial season.
While, over in Blightly, Martin O’Neill is also said to have expressed an interest in Drenthe, The Star printing “Aston Villa boss Oâ€™Neill is weighing up a Â£4m offer for the former Feyenoord left-back as a replacement for Nicky Shorey.” No-doubt Drenthe would also offer cover and an alternative for Ashley Young, with the England wide-man very much in demand from a host of teams circling around like vultures.