Scorer for his first tenure with the TFC, the Dutch striker, best director in the Dutch second division last season (36 goals), looks back on his transfer and his first weeks in Toulouse.
A first goal in your first match last Sunday against Nice… You couldn’t have dreamed of a better start…
Of course, this is a very good start. Obviously it would have been even better with the victory, but personally, it’s a good first. For a striker, it’s important to score his first goal with a new club very quickly, because otherwise the journalists will talk about it!
You arrived here with the status of top scorer in the Dutch second division: does that add some pressure?
Not really. I came here to progress: I want to become a better player and find out how far I can go, show myself. But there is no particular pressure.
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What do you want to improve on, and how would you describe your style of play?
I think I’m quite versatile: I like to drop out to participate with the short game, like going deep. But mainly, I have to improve on the impact in the duels. Here, the level of defenders will be higher than what I have known so far.
What personal goals have you set for this season?
I don’t like to think in terms of number of goals or assists. I didn’t do it last season, for example. First, I want to play as much as possible, become important for the team and have fun on the pitch. But the main objective is collective: to maintain myself.
Did the presence of Dutch players in the squad help you integrate?
Yes a lot. When you come from abroad, it’s not easy to fit in. So the Dutch people already present as well as Brecht Dejaegere, who also speaks the language, helped me a lot. I had some contact with Stijn (Spierings) before arriving, he told me about the good of the club, that all the people around were friendly, that the players did not show up for others. That’s what I discovered when I arrived: a team where everyone is humble and friendly.
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How do you manifest yourself in the city a few weeks after your arrival?
Very well. My copy is here as well. We had already come a little before my arrival, to see what it looked like, and what sensations I felt. We really like Toulouse.
Were you surprised that the TFC called you to recruit you?
The club came into contact with me quite early, when the climb was not yet acquired. I started to follow the team a little closer to see what was going to happen, but it’s true that it was a surprise: the TFC is not in my career plans. It’s always fun to find out which clubs will come to you… In any case, I had a very good feeling from the start, and when the climb was acquired, it finally convinced me.
We imagine that other suitors existed to recruit you: why did you choose to sign for Toulouse so early?
I experienced a similar situation a year ago, when I signed with Excelsior. I am someone who walks by feeling, not the kind of player who will wait until the end of the transfer window to choose. The main thing is how you feel, and how the people at the club who want to sign you make you feel. In addition, I really wanted to sign early, to acclimatize.
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Have you been in contact with a club like Ajax, or another club in the Netherlands?
There have been contacts. But I never had that feeling I’m talking about. That’s really what matters to me.
You arrive in the club of the top scorer in Ligue 2 last season, Rhys Healey. What was the club’s speech regarding your agreement with him?
We haven’t really talked about it. When you arrive at a club bigger than Excelsior can be, you know that competition will exist, and that will be true everywhere. But that too is good news, the competition will help me grow, and Rhys has had a great season. So much the better.
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