Tag Archives: Graziano Pelle

Evaluation of the 2014/15 Eredivisie Exports

In this piece, Jake Jackman focuses on five players who departed the Eredivisie this summer and determining whether they have been a hit or miss so far for their new club. Obviously it’s far too early to judge any player in his new environment, but these are initial reactions to the opening half of the season.

Graziano Pelle

The Italian has had a rather up and down career after failing to make it in his native Italy, but the past few seasons have been exceptional for Pelle, with his performances leading to a call up to the national side in September. The striker scored on his Italian debut, and he could be a late bloomer on the international scene becoming a top striker for Italy in the process. Many were doubting Southampton and some of their summer signings, but the side from the South Coast have been brilliant so far. The Italian has scored 9 in all competitions for Southampton so far, making him a great signing. He has scored 64 goals in his last 77 games in all competitions making him one of the hottest properties in football at the moment. Feyenoord struggled at the beginning of the season and it’s obvious to see why, any side would miss a goalscorer of Pelle’s class.

Verdict: HIT

Alfred Finnbogason

The former Heerenveen striker actually outscored Pelle in last season’s Eredivisie and many would have expected him to make a name for himself yet in Spain. He has only started twice for Real Sociedad and he is yet to break his duck. This is a player who had a lot of interest last summer, including some from the Premier League, and the Spanish league may not be the one best suited to him and it’s showing early in his Sociedad career. The Finn scored 29 league goals last season, his finishing ability is undoubted, which is why I expect him to make an impact in Spain once he has settled, but at the moment it isn’t going his way.

Verdict: MISS

Stefan De Vrij

Lazio got themselves a bargain when they signed the Dutch World Cup star from Feyenoord as the defender has slotted seamlessly into their defence and impressed over the opening matches of the Serie A. He may have already been sent off in Italy, but he has been very assured in the back line, making 3.3 interceptions per match. The organisational aspect of the Italian game will have a positive effect on de Vrij, who will continue to improve. It’s unlikely that this is going to be the biggest move of his career as he has the potential to become a top class player in one of the world’s major leagues.

Verdict: HIT

Daryl Janmaat

Another player that departed Feyenoord was right back Daryl Janmaat, who has become one of the first names on Alan Pardew’s team sheet in the North East of England. He has started every Premier League match for the Magpies this season, while he has yet to miss a minute of football in the league this season. The right back has started well in England, scoring a goal in his second match at St James’ Park. In every match he has played, he has been a massive threat going forwards, especially when he cuts inside and unleashes powerful shots from distance. He was signed to replace Mathieu Debuchy and at the moment, he looks like he has the ability to surpass the Frenchman’s achievements in the Newcastle side, already leveling Debuchy’s goal count.

Verdict: HIT

Dusan Tadic

Southampton signed another one of the best players of last season’s Eredivisie in Dusan Tadic, who was known for his creativity in FC Twente’s side. Last season, he contributed 16 goals and 14 assists, which is an incredible return from midfield. He has already shown his incredible eye for a pass on the South Coast, contributing six assists to date, including four against Sunderland alone. The Serbian also has one goal to his name. He hasn’t shown the goal threat he showed in the Eredivisie, but that will grow as he adjusts to the division. He is having 2.7 shots per game, highlighting that he is getting in goalscoring positions, he is just yet to become clinical in front of goal in England, but there is no doubt he has been great for Southampton this season

Verdict: HIT

The players above highlight the quality in the Eredivisie and the successes of these players will only bring more scouts to Holland on a weekly basis, which is positive for the league, especially when it comes to finances. The new batch of players making a name in the Eredivisie will know that performing in Holland will see them get opportunities to move to bigger leagues and as the above players show, it’s possible to be a big success away from the Eredivisie.


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What will Graziano Pellè bring to Southampton?

Big Italian striker Graziano Pelle is heading to Southampton to once again work with Ronald Koeman for a reported snip of €8million. Will Burns discusses on what the striker has in his arsenal as he is set to replace the outgoing Rickie Lambert…


– Pellè was born on 15 May 1985 in San Cesario di Lecce, Italy.

– The Italian started out at a hometown club Lecce in 2001. As a youth player, he helped his team to win the 2002/03 Coppa Italia Primavera and the Campionato Primavera twice (in 2003/04 and 2004/05).

– He made his professional debut in a Serie A game against Bologna in January 2004. Failing to settle in, between 2005 and 2007, Pellè played out on loan at Catania, Crotone and Cesena.

– In the summer of 2007, Pellè made the move to the Netherlands with AZ Alkmaar scoring 14 goals in a total of 72 games.

– After a stint of four years in Holland, he returned to his homeland as he moved to Parma.

– Again failing to click in the team he went on a loan to Sampdoria from Parma in January 2012. While in Sampdoria, Pellè managed to find the net four times in 12 games.

– Once again looking for a new start, Pellè returned to the Netherlands on a season-long loan to Feyenoord.

– Pellè became a goal machine scoring 11 goals in his first ten appearances.

– After impressing, on 5th January 2013, Pellè signed a four-year contract with the Rotterdam club.

– In 2012/13 season he notched 27 goals in 29 games and then last season scored 23 in 28 appearances.

What Pellè brings to Southampton?

Graziano Pellè is a player I have admired for the past two seasons and I feel he is a perfect fit for the Premier League. At 6ft 4 inches, even though he is tall and physically strong, he is a delight to watch on the ball.

Playing as a target man, he can overpower any defender to keep the ball at his feet to feed into any overlapping player or better still, create a chance for himself. With great ability of playing with both feet, he moves real good for a big guy, which can provide source of goals when his back is to goal.

If Southampton can find two great crossers on their wings, then the Italian will deliver goals. Inside the box, Pellè is always looking for the ball, losing his marker to usually head home from either near or far post. The power in the 29-year-old’s legs makes him leap like a salmon and defeat the tallest of defenders. So from any cross whether it be in-play or from a set-piece, Pellè is a real aerial threat to the opposition’s goal.

One downfall could be his temperament. The Italian is a bit of explosive when things to do not go his way and has been known to sulk if his side are losing an important games. Please check out this link which explains some incidents from last season that got Pelle in hot water with the KNVB and Feyenoord management.

Despite the behavioral issues, I personally think this can add to his game as the passion he shows, displays a great will to win. With great finishing with both feet and his head, I see goals from Pellè and successful tenure under Koeman on the South Coast.

Anyways, don’t take my word for it Saints fans… take a look for yourself


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Southampton-Pelle deal… ON

Southampton have agreed a fee in principle to bring Graziano Pellè to St.Mary’s from Feyenoord, as reported by Voetbal International’s Martijn Krabbendam, a respected source in the Netherlands writes Robbie Dunne.

Krabbendam also reports that there are still some of the finer details that need to be worked out but a fee, believed to be around €8 million, has been agreed to by both clubs – who are still negotiating. The club are certainly on speaking terms though and it appears that it is only a matter of time before the deal is concluded.

In relation to the player, Pellè has already agreed to work for Koeman at his new club, according to Krabbendam. Southampton had been having trouble with the price tag put on him by his club of €12 million, and for a player that is turning 29 with limited sell-on value, you’d have to respect their stance.

Ronald Koeman managed Feyenoord during Pellè’s time at the club, so he knows exactly how much he is valued at. There seems to be mixed feelings about just how good Pellè really is amongst supporters. While he is adored at Feyenoord, he struggled in the Serie A, and it is a common belief that the Premier League is even quicker than both, and whether or not Pellè can adjust to such an environment remains a massive question mark.

As stated, Koeman has had the player in his squad for the last two seasons and if anyone knows, it is the former Dutch International, which should go a long ways to easing Southampton fans’ worries. Pellè will also be given the unenviable task of replacing Rickie Lambert – who won over the Saints crowd from day one of his arrival.

Feyenoord, on the other hand have their sights set on Bas Dost from Wolfsburg to replace the outgoing Italian before the start of the Eredivisie campaign in August.


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Pelle’s Southampton talks stall… or have they?

Reports this morning stated that Southampton’s talks with Feyenoord over the possible signing of Graziano Pelle have come to a standstill. The problem apparently stems from the valuation of the player and The Saints’s unwillingness to budge on their €8 million offer. Rumour has it, Feyenoord want something more in line with €12 million for the striker’s services.

However, Feyenoord could do a lot with €8m and with the upcoming €8.5m sale of defender Bruno Martins Indi to Portuguese giants FC Porto, this would give new boss Fred Rutten an excellent war chest to push Ajax to the limit this year and challenge for the title. With the new Saints manager Ronald Koeman, knowing his former club inside out, including a great relationship with Feyenoord’s technical director Martin van Geel. The Dutchman surely will know how much money it will take to get Pelle to the South Coast of England, so we feel the reports this morning may be inaccurate.

The Italian striker has scored 23 times in 28 appearances for the Rotterdam club last season but he turns 29 on the 15th of July and Southampton are stalling on paying this much for a striker at this age. There is also an element of unproven ability with Pelle, who has only really ever excelled during spells in the Eredivisie.

A fruitful spell at AZ Alkmaar yieled 14 goals in 78 appearances but a year at Parma where he only scored once and a subsequent loan move to Sampdoria was just as unsuccessful. He went on loan to Feyenoord at the beginning of the 2012 season and almost scored a goal per game with 27 in 29, and continued off in similar form last season with his strike rate.

While Southampton have sold a main crop of their young talent that has taken them to the dizzying heights of the top half of the Premier League table, they are not yet desperate enough to spend money needlessly and they might feel that their need for a striker is being used against them in this negotiation. The sale of Rickie Lambert to Liverpool is at the crux of Southampton’s need to find a replacement and Feyenoord will be aware of this fact.

Koeman was at the helm during Pelle’s most prolific period of goalscoring and wants to be reunited with the Italian in order to develop the same kind of productivity that was evident over the past two seasons.

Pelle is also garnering attention from Premier League newcomers Leicester City but Pelle’s loyalty to Koeman might play a huge part in the unravelling of this transfer story.

If the negotiations do break down, Southampton might look to FC Twente’s Luc Castaignos as another possible replacement for Rickie Lambert.


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Feyenoord could be ready to offload assets in plan for future


With Fred Rutten ready to take over the reins at Feyenoord in the summer, the new head coach could have a real battle on his hands in an attempt to keep the current youthful squad together.

Although it has been suggested, should Rutten wish to bring his own players in to match his vision for the Rotterdam club, he will have to cash in on some of the club’s stars to finance his own moves.

Italian striker Graziano Pellè is thought to be the first to pack his bags. Although the Lecce-born hitman has notched 47 goals in 53 appearances, his bad behaviour off the pitch has been frowned upon and the Rotterdam club could receive up to €7m for the 28-year-old.

Three of the younger players in particular have impressed this season and they are already on the radar of top European clubs. However, Jean-Paul Boëtius and Tonny Vilhena are under deals until the summer of 2016, young defender Terence Kongolo (pictured above) has just a season left on his contract.

Feyenoord’s general manager Martin van Geel is working hard on persuading the three starlets to extend their current agreements as they do not want to see them leave in the summer. Vilhena (19) and Boëtius (20) have impressed tremendously this term, with Vilhena managing two goals and five assists and Boëtius notching eight goals and eight assists.

Meanwhile, 20-year-old central defender Kongolo only recently pinned down a place in the starting line-up and he has a total of 11 league outings this season.

Although, Van Geel is desperate to tie down Boëtius, Kongolo and Vilhena, he may be willing to move on some more experienced youngsters. Defender Stefan de Vrij has been linked with moves away since last summer when Premier League side Everton were said to be looking at the 22-year-old.

Bruno Martins Indi and Jordy Clasie are set to be on display in Brazil this summer for Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands. The TV cameras will be beaming the World Cup finals across the globe, which puts these two players directly in the shop window. Martins Indi and Clasie, both 22, themselves have been rumoured to be leaving Rotterdam over the last few transfer windows but are also under contract until 2016.

Portugal-born defender Martins Indi was also linked with Everton as well as Arsenal but a move to neither club has materialised. With young hopes like Kongolo ready to step up into the Feyenoord defence, then moves for Martins Indi and De Vrij may happen come July.

Clasie, has just been named club captain and in recent months has been mooted with a move to England himself with Liverpool. However, before the midfielder signed his contract extension last summer a move to the Serie A with Fiorentina was openly denied by the club. He is the player that Feyenoord can hope to make the biggest amount of profit on, should they choose to.

Whatever happens in the summer, it certainly seems that times are changing for the Rotterdam club, whether or not these adjustments can be positive for Fred Rutten and his team, time will tell.


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West Brom, West Ham on guard as Feyenoord set to sell star striker


It is understood that Feyenoord are willing to cash in on top scorer Graziano Pellè after his latest misbehaviour. Which may make a flurry of Premier League and Serie A clubs vie for the striker’s signature.

Pellè has been in prolific form ever since his permanent transfer from Parma in 2013 netting twenty goals in 24 appearances in Eredivisie so far this campaign. Also, last season, the Italian netted 25 times while on loan from Parma and made the move to the Netherlands permanent in the summer for a reported €3 million.

However, the relationship between player and the Rotterdam club have turned sour and Voetbal international report that Feyenoord director Martin van Gaal is evaluating whether to sell their star striker after a series of negative incidents cast doubts over his temperament.

The striker was recently stripped of the captaincy after he appeared to throw an elbow at Ajax defender Joel Veltman in Feyenoord’s 2-1 loss in De Klassieker two weeks ago. In the post match interview, he insulted Fox Sports reporter Jan Joost van Gangelen and stated that he was an Ajax fan and he had “the face of an Ajax supporter”.

News of a potential sale will alert the likes of West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United and also many clubs back in Italy, who were reported to have been tracking Pellè in the winter transfer window.

The news that new Feyenoord manager next season, Fred Rutten, will have to sell first if he wishes to strengthen the squad for next year’s Eredivisie campaign may mean it’s more likely that Pellè will be on his way.

It would make sense that a 28-year-old would be moved on, rather than sell young talent like Jordy Clasie, Bruno Martins Indi or Jean-Paul Boëtius, whom they may be able to cash in for more profits in future years.


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Feyenoord strip Pellè of captaincy


Feyenoord have stripped controversial Italian hothead Graziano Pellè of the club captaincy and have also stated that the striker will not be considered for selection in their next two games against FC Groningen and Heerenveen. Jordy Clasie will lead the team out with the captain’s armband in the future.

20140302 - Graziano Pelle

A statement on Feyenoord.nl said: “Feyenoord have removed the captaincy from Graziano Pellè. Also, the striker will not be available for selection in Feyenoord’s next two games. These measures were taken on Monday and made known to Pellè and his team-mates.”

The KNVB handed Pellè a one-match ban suspended for a year after he was caught on camera (see video below) in a vicious outburst, kicking the dugout following his side’s 2-2 draw with FC Twente last weekend.

Pelle was selected in Sunday’s ‘De Klassieker’ with Ajax and scored the opening goal but Feyenoord were eventually defeated 2-1. Video replays showed during the game that the Italian was lucky not to be sent off after he appeared to strike Ajax defender Joël Veltman with an elbow in the second half. Referee for the match, Bjorn Kuipers, did not witness the incident and the KNVB have yet to announce whether they will take retrospective action or not.

After the game, the Italian was involved in a highly confrontational interview at pitchside with FOX Sports presenter Jan Joost van Gangelen, and the striker completely lost his cool.

Watch the full interview in the video below.


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The Eredivisie season restarts after the winter break on Friday night, so as a preview, we have decided to rundown the stars of the division so far this season.

Here’s Will Burns with  the next five…

Vitesse - Kelvin Leerdam

Feyenoord must be ruing the day they let Mr. Leerdam join Vitesse Arnhem on a free transfer in the summer. Although, the Rotterdam side have a fantastic right-back in Daryl Janmaat, he does not have the goalscoring prowess of Kelvin Leerdam.

From sixteen appearances this season, 14 games at right-back, Leerdam has notched up seven goals, including three goals in that last four games. Not bad for a free transfer.

A true attacking full-back, Leerdam is a confident dribbler and at times acting as a supplementary right-winger. The 23-year-old has continued to be dependable defending too. He has made 36 tackles, 23 interceptions and 58 clearances so far this campaign. 

Feyenoord - Graziano Pelle

The Italian hitman is a bit of a godfather in front of goal, showing no mercy and laying all his opponents to rest. Once again, it has been a tremendous season for Pelle, at 29-years-old, he has notched 13 in 16 starts.

The man from Lecce is the epitome of an old-fashioned ‘no. 9’ – the ability to hold the ball up, bringing others into the game, great movement, good in the air, a good football brain and a lethal finisher. It is no wonder how it finds it so easy to score in the Eredivisie.

Feyenoord has scored 36 league goals so far this term, Pelle has scored 36% of them and with the Rotterdam side sitting just four points of the leaders, then a strong challenge to win their first Eredivisie title since the 1998/99 season.

Vitesse - Lucas Piazon

This is personally my pick of the best player of the half-season. Another talent on-loan from Chelsea, no-one can argue that the young Brazilian has not made the most impact out of all of them.

At just 19, he has become Vitesse Arnhem’s quarterback, everytime he receives the ball, the Arnhem side look likely to score. He has amazing figures in front of goal, from 16 starts, Piazón has scored 11 goals and created 8 assists.

With Piazon at the helm, leading the team forward, currently joint on points with Ajax at the top of the Eredivisie, Vitesse look to have the best chance of the past few years in stopping the Amsterdammers stranglehold on the league championship.

FC Twente - Quincy Promes

Promes was has made a real impact at Twente this year and it’s not surprising since he was named the winner of the Eerste Divisie’s player of the year award, last season while at the promoted Go Ahead Eagles.

Sitting on the right side of attack in a 4-3-3, Promes is finishing as many chances, as he creates them. From 15 games, the 22-year-old has scored eight times while providing four assists. He loves a shot from outside the area and has let fire a total of 49 shots.

This season, he has linked up tremendously with Dusan Tadić and Luc Castaignos and all three are responsible to the impressive third place that Twente are sitting in, just three points from joint leaders Ajax and Vitesse, proving that the division is not a two-horse race.

PSV - Karim Rekik

Averaging 6.6 clearances per game, Karim Rekik has become one of the first names on Philip Cocu’s team sheet at PSV this season, although it has been a disappointing campaign for the young side.

Rekik, himself only 19, joined this summer on loan from Manchester City and already PSV Director of Football Marcel Brands has admitted he has enquired about keeping him for the 14/15 season also.

Standing at 6ft 1inches tall, Rekik uses his height to his advantage for aerial duels and headed clearances. He is proving to be strong in the air, currently winning 73.6% of his aerial duels. Karim is capable of playing from the back, an attribute which is steadily gaining real significance for the PSV backline. 



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Welcome to our weekly section at TotalDutchFootball.com – the Eredivisie Team of the Week. Below you will see our ‘Player of the Week’ also – each player will be allocated points and at the end of the season we will declare our ‘Player of the Season’. Each player will be given one point for being named in our team and the ‘Player of the Week’ will gain two points.


20130903 - Week 5 Eredivisie


Leonard Nienhuis (SC Cambuur) – Kept a clean sheet at the Philips Stadion to spoil PSV’s 100th anniversary celebrations.


Mattias Johansson (AZ Alkmaar) – The Swedish right-back surged forward and scored a great goal in the 1-1 draw with Vitesse.

Eric Botteghin (FC Groningen) – A rock in the Groningen defence that kept Ajax’s forwards at bay to clinch a vital point.

Lucas Bijker (SC Cambuur) – Playing on the left of defence, was the man-of-the-match for the Eredivisie new boys in the 0-0 draw with PSV.

Jason Davidson (Heracles) – An excellent goal to give his side the 1-0 win over ADO Den Haag.


Victor Palsson (NEC Nijmegen) – Provided a stunning strike in Friday night’s draw with NAC Breda.

Jeffrey Sarpong (NAC Breda) – Tore the NEC defence to shreds but the strikers ahead of him were poor with the finishing.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK Erik Falkenburg (Go Ahead Eagles) – Hat-trick hero in GAE’s 4-1 drubbing of RKC Waalwijk


Rajiv van la Parra (Heerenveen) – Starting up front for Van Basten’s men, dribbled through Twente’s defence with ease on many occassion.

Graziano Pelle (Feyenoord) – Scoring his sixth goal in five games to lead his side to a 4-0 win over Roda JC on Sunday.

Jarchinio Antonia (Go Ahead Eagles) – A constant thorn in RKC’s side providing two assists in his sides 4-1 win.


Graziano Pelle ST Feyenoord 1 3
Kamohelo Mokotjo MF PEC Zwolle   3
Tjaronn Chery MF FC Groningen 1 2
Zakaria Bakkali ST PSV 1 2
Youness Mokhtar MF PEC Zwolle 1 2
Erik Falkenburg MF Go Ahead Eagles 1 2



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