Nov 16, 2012, 10:06 AM EDT
Thank goodness for Google translator. Otherwise, we might never know that …
Jozy Altidore is having a very, very good week.
Not only was Altidore welcomed back into U.S. national team airspace and granted a starting role in the 2-2 Russian draw, revelations also tumbled out of his Dutch club that some well-known suitors are sniffing around the AZ Alkmaar grounds.
AZ director of football Earnie Stewart, the former U.S. international, says representative from major clubs “… like Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur,” have scouted Altidore in matches this year at around the club’s Alkmaar grounds. He also said a significant offer arrived last summer from an major Eastern European club, but that AZ was reluctant to part with Altidore because finding a replacement would have been difficult so late in the transfer window.
Remember, Altidore is just 23. As Stewart says, there’s still room for growth and further development in the man who once fetched a $10 million transfer fee from Spain’s Villarreal. Altidore’s recent calm approach to his omission from an important set of U.S. World Cup qualifiers speaks well of his professionalism.
He still has two years remaining on the four-year deal signed in July 2011 with AZ. That means there’s no particular hurry to AZ to sell its American striker, although high value must always be a consideration with smaller clubs. Cashing in opportunistically on rising talent at the highest possible price is significant chunk of the business model.
Altidore has 9 goals in 12 Dutch Eredivisie matches this year, and 31 goals in 63 matches across all competition at AZ.
While it’s true that previous stops at other clubs (England’s Hull City, Spain’s Villarreal and Turkey’s Bursaspor) didn’t work out as well, there’s reason to believe Altidore’s chances of success are higher now. Youth, pressure attached to that handsome transfer price and other mitigating circumstances at some of the stops made for less-than-ideal conditions.
He has certainly made the most of AZ – and from a big week, apparently.
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