Why FC Twente Needed to Sell Luuk De Jong to Borussia Monchengladbach
Despite him being one of the most promising Dutch players, FC Twente made the right decision in selling striker Luuk de Jong.
De Jong moved to German club Borussia Monchengladbach in a move that is believed to have cost around €14-15 million.
Twente was put in a very unenviable position because de Jong was one of, if not the best player at the club. And at only 21 years old, his best football is still years ahead of him, which is scary considering he was second in the Eredivisie in scoring, with 25 goals.
The Eredivisie may have a well-earned reputation for creating some of the more obscure league leaders in goals, but de Jong's tally represents the talent he possesses.
The saga surrounding this transfer had threatened to get very ugly, hence it was the best move for both club and player to ensure that any deal would quickly get done.
De Jong had made it public that his only desire was to be playing for Gladbach in the upcoming season.
Apparently, Twente told him the club would accept a €14 million bid if de Jong would waive the clause in his contract that allowed him 20 percent of the fee. All too happy to move away, he called Twente's bluff.
Unfortunately for him, the club didn't really plan for this and had held firm that he wasn't going anywhere for the time being.
You can't blame him for longing to make Germany his new area of operations. Monchengladbach presents a step up for de Jong in almost every way possible.
The Bundesliga is of a higher quality than the Eredivisie and Monchengladbach is in the playoff stage of the Champions League, the pinnacle of club football. Twente finished sixth in the Dutch league last year, thus qualifying for the playoff stage of the Europa League.
Sure, Steve McClaren won a league title with Twente in 2009-10, but de Jong shouldn't have to wait for the club to make improvements.
For Twente, it doesn't make much sense, no matter how talented the player may be, to have a member of the team who wants out so badly. It certainly isn't unheard of for a club to refuse to move someone, then for him to in turn play a key role with said club.
Luka Modric at Tottenham and Cesc Fabregas in his last years at Arsenal are two recent examples of players who wanted moves away from their clubs but stayed on a little while longer and made major contributions.
However, those were clubs that were competing for the Premier League title, quite a step up from the Eredivisie.
De Jong likely has other motivations aside from just his club career.
He has his eyes on the national team squad. He's likely one of the players the Netherlands will be building around for World Cup 2014 and Euro 2016.
De Jong was taken but never used at Euro 2012. While they are responsible for the horror that was Euro 2012, players like Robin van Persie and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar present huge hurdles for de Jong in terms of making a large impact in 2014.
In order to try and maximize his potential, a move away from Holland is a necessity.
Gregory van der Wiel is a perfect case of a player who has stayed in the Eredivisie too long. Despite numerous rumors seemingly every transfer window, he has remained an Ajax player.
His form has been up and down quite a bit, but his ability is there for everyone to see. However, van der Wiel looks to have maximized his potential at the Amsterdam club.
Unlike de Jong, van der Wiel's place in the national team is largely assured, even though Euro 2012 wasn't exactly his moment of glory either. He doesn't have to worry so much anywhere near as much about overtaking or fighting off someone for the right-back position in the Dutch squad.
There's also a PR aspect that has to be considered. The longer this whole saga dragged out, the worse it was going to make everyone involved look.
De Jong is going to be criticized in some circles for being so public with his desire to leave Twente, and McClaren and Joop Munsterman will look bad for being so steadfast in their stance that de Jong isn't going anywhere.
It's even worse if the club did in fact make the arrangement with de Jong in regards to the €14 million fee and the waiving of his percentage of the transfer.
It was time for Twente to cash in on de Jong and move on.
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