Netherlands youngster Eljero Elia could attract a lot of interest this summer if he impresses for his country during the World Cup in South Africa. His chances of playing will be increased should Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben not be fit for the tournament, or at least the early part of it.
There are many clubs who have been linked with the 23-year-old Hamburg winger including Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester City (linked with just about everyone) and Juventus following an impressive season in the German Bundesliga. Elia scored five goals last term and is becoming a fan favourite at Hamburg since nailing down a regular spot in the first XI.
Despite the interest shown in him he insists that he does not want to leave Hamburg yet and insist he want to concentrate on the Oranje’s World Cup campaign.
“I will be playing for Hamburg next season. I am not finished at HSV by a long way,” said Elia, who added: “Being involved in the World Cup makes me the happiest person in the world,” he added: “I hope that I get to play in South Africa and then I will show the world what I am capable of.”
Despite his reluctance the rumours about him leaving still persist and clubs will continue to track the Hamburg star. I doubt whether he would be able to resist the chance to play for a Spurs or Liverpool side, why would any footballer worth his salt not want to play in the Champions League, or for one of the most famous clubs in football history? But he may be perturbed from a possible move if he is not confident of being first choice with a new club.
Breaking into the Tottenham line-up at the moment might prove to be difficult as they currently have Gareth Bale occupying the left-back spot. Bale impressed at the back end of last season, most notably against Chelsea when Tottenham won 2-1 at White Hart Lane. However, should Harry Redknapp acquire a talent like Elia he could move the Welshman into the left-back position, which would give the north London club a formidable attacking options down that particular flank.
As for Liverpool’s interest in the player, with the expected departures of Yossi Benayoun and Albert Riera the club could do with re-strengthening their squad and may be able to raise funds with the aforementioned sales…even more so if they cash in on someone like Steven Gerrard or Fernando Torres.
Of course we can only speculate about transfer rumours and many fans do not like to regard any rumour until they see a player putting pen to paper, or being photographed holding their club’s shirt. But Elia could be a fantastic acquisition for many European clubs as he has been billed as one of the hottest young properties in Dutch football. In 2009 he won the Johan Cruyff Award for Young Player of the Year in the Netherlands and is tipped as one to watch for the World Cup this summer, if he makes his name there then more clubs may join his current list of admirers.
For Elia, even though he insists that a move away is unthinkable his club finished outside the top six last season and won’t be playing any form of European football next season. Maybe the desire to play in a major league or European competition will prove too strong an urge for the player to snub.
Video showcasing Eljero Elia’s talents: