The date is 19 January 2022 at the King Power Stadium and the scene is set on a blisteringly cold night in the Midlands for the revival of one of Tottenham’s largely forgotten men.
Steven Bergwijn was slid through deliciously by Harry Kane after Youri Tielemans was robbed of possession and through he went, rounding Kasper Schmeichel before finding the net via the post.
It was a dramatic late goal as Spurs defeated Leicester 3-2 in the early weeks of the new year and it looked like a new beginning for the Dutchman too.
However, since penning terms with the north Londoners back in January 2020, the forward has failed to elevate his career with moments like his last gasp strike against Brendan Rodgers’ men coming few and far between.
We have only seen rare glimpses of the Netherlands international’s dangerous qualities and on that evidence, it is hard to argue that he has ever been worth the money.
Daniel Levy shipped out a seismic £27m for his services two years ago and in the 109 weeks he has been in English football, all you can say is that Bergwijn has been draining the owner’s bank account for a considerable period of time.
When you consider his weekly salary of £73k and his annual wages of £3.8m, he has set Levy back around £35m, a staggering amount of money for a player who hasn’t provided Tottenham with much on the field of play.
The 24-year-old is still young and possesses clear potential but he has found the net on just seven occasions in Spurs colours, meaning he’s cost them £5m per goal. Furthermore, his tally of only ten assists since signing means he has cost the Lilywhites £3.5m per assist.
Those numbers make for some pretty grim reading and with that in mind, it’s hardly a surprise that he’s attracted some negative critics.
Only a few months ago, club insider John Wenham blasted the Dutch attacker for being “terrible all season.” What makes things even worse is that the current manager doesn’t rate him either.
Journalist Mike Verweij claimed on De Telegraaf’s football podcast (via Sport Witness): “Conte is also the one who opposed Bergwijn’s transfer from PSV to Italy. Inter were an interested club at the time, but Conte did not need him. Conte has only said two words to Bergwijn in two weeks at Tottenham Hotspur.”
That is a damning indictment of the player’s ability and attitude, meaning that this is a transfer that will only get worse with time.
Of course, Conte’s desperate situation at the club could hand Bergwijn a lifeline if the boss does pack his bags and leave Spurs, but it would be a surprise if any new manager could extract more than the likes of Jose Mourinho and their current Italian head coach.
To put it simply; this is a transfer that hasn’t panned out well.