Wesley Sneijder has been a player linked to the Premier League numerous times over the last four or five years, but he has yet to make the move to England. There have been a host of Dutch players linked to Everton in recent days, after Ronald Koeman’s appointment, with the 32-year-old being the latest name being mentioned. There will be a lot of money spent by the Toffees in the coming months, with a rumoured transfer budget of £100m, according to several sources. They will want a big name to get their recruitment underway in the summer, both to appease fans and convince their current stars that the club will be trying to compete with the very best. Sneijder would do both.
The Dutchman has had a great career, playing for Ajax, Real Madrid and Inter Milan, three massive clubs. Meanwhile on the international stage, he has racked up 129 caps for the Netherlands, playing a major part in the side that reached the 2010 World Cup Final. There isn’t a lot he hasn’t done, and even while in Turkey, he has continued to perform consistently, and play at a high level. Every side needs experience and leadership, and this is perhaps something that Everton lacked in the second half of last season. They fell down the league and looked really poor at times. A move for Sneijder could go some way to correcting that. He is also a proven winner and that is a great mentality to have around a club.
Everybody is familiar with the midfielder’s game, given he has been one of the standout players of the 21st century. He is a graduate from the famed Ajax academy, which only produces very technical players. Although some from the club don’t go on to fulfil their potential, that can’t be accused of Sneijder, who spent several years at the pinnacle of the sport. He has a lot of talent, but he also has an excellent mentality, which has allowed him to make the most of what he possesses.
He is an excellent passer, capable of playing defence-splitting through balls, while his reading of the game in the attacking third is superb, often seeing passes that less talented individuals would not. Sneijder is often the one who dictates the tempo in his side’s play, making him central to any team. The Dutchman possesses a powerful long shot, in addition to being an effective set piece taker. He likes being deployed as a number ten, and the one weakness to his game is his defensive contribution. As a result he can be a hindrance to the side if used as a central midfielder.
There will be doubts cast about his age if he does join the Premier League, but that would be unfair. He would need time to adjust to the Premier League. However, he has done well in every league he has joined and the Turkish league can be physical at times, making the Premier League less of a culture shift. Also, we saw just two years ago, the positive impact Esteban Cambiasso had on Leicester City, as he adjusted quickly and seamlessly to the league. His experience in football and his pure technical ability was always going to allow him to be a success in the Premier League. I’d expect the same from Sneijder.
At the rumoured price of £5.8m, a move for Sneijder would be relatively low risk and he would bring a lot more than just his footballing ability. It would be a coup for Everton to bring in a midfielder with the pedigree that Sneijder has, and he would bring with him a winning mentality, leadership and experience. He would also be great to have around for Ross Barkley, who has plenty of potential, but is very inconsistent and has a lot to learn about the mental side of the game. Sneijder is by no means the player he was at the start of this decade, and there are more pressing concerns for Ronald Koeman this summer. However, he still offers something on the pitch and would bring a lot more off it,