Things just haven’t gone to plan for Steven Bergwijn since his £25m move to Tottenham Hotspur in January 2020.
The Dutch international got off to a dream start in North London, stunning Manchester City with an incredible volley to open the scoring on his Premier League debut.
Just after an hour, Bergwijn chested down a pass from Lucas Moura before rifling it home low into the bottom corner past a helpless Ederson. That would’ve given everyone an encouraging sign of what was to come.
However, since that moment, the 23-year-old has done very little and has quickly become a forgotten man down the pecking order. Big figures like Heung-min Son and Gareth Bale won’t have helped his cause but his form tailed off quite drastically.
In the five succeeding matches after the City win, Bergwijn found the net twice, in some massive games too, including a strike against Manchester United.
That was nearly a year ago.
The 5 foot 7 dynamo is one of several players who are facing uncertainty at the club right now, even more so without a manager – will the new man like him enough to start him more? or will he have other plans with his wing options?
Dele Alli is another who had faltered under Jose Mourinho.
One name linked to the Spurs vacancy is Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag and if he is successful in getting the job, then you’d imagine this would benefit Bergwijn more than most.
According to The Athletic, the 51-year-old sits among a four-man shortlist for the role and is certainly not out of Daniel Levy’s reach despite recently signing a contract extension at the Eredivisie champions.
He fits the profile of the attack-minded coach that the Spurs chairman is dreaming of and is one that ticks another box, having developed many a young player into a first-team star.
A lot of his players have gone onto bigger and better things after being nurtured by the Dutchman, these include Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus) and Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), whilst names like David Neres and Ryan Gravenberch are ones to keep an eye on.
Ten Hag’s potential arrival in North London should certainly have a player like Bergwijn excited about what could happen, especially given his success with his fellow countryman and in his home nation, where he has won 73.7% of matches.
Ajax have even been linked with a move for Bergwijn in recent weeks, which suggests that the Spurs managerial target likes what he sees with the winger.
In the past, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has dubbed the Ajax supremo “one of the most exciting coaching talents in world football,” whilst former Celtic and Forest striker Pierre van Hooijdonk said his ability to progress players was “remarkable.”
On the above evidence, ten Hag could be exactly what the £45m-rated Bergwijn needs to get his Spurs career back on track.
At 23, he still has so much to give and the Dutch manager could be the one to get the best out of him.