Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Santiago Gimenez: Chelsea and Real Madrid transfer target shows unlimited football IQ with genius free kick

Santiago Gimenez, Feyenoord, 2023/24

Feyenoord striker Santiago Gimenez is coming back to his best after a dry spell of form after the winter break, and on Sunday he showcased the type of footballing IQ that has had Chelsea and Real Madrid interested in him.

He scored the second goal in his side’s 3-0 home win over Heracles, yet it was an action later in the game that really underlined why the 22-year-old has the potential to become a special player.

Of course, a return of 24 goals in 34 matches in all competitions is a remarkable effort, but Gimenez has proven that he has the intelligence to match it. Never was this more evident than against Heracles.

Inside the last 20 minutes, his side won a free kick just outside the box and instigated a game of rock, paper, scissors with Quilindschy Hartman. But this was a bluff.

Both left-footed players, Gimenez and Hartman were tricking visiting keeper Michael Brouwer into thinking that one of them would take the subsequent free kick. Instead, the right-footed Igor Paixao too the effort and drilled a shot into the net. It was clear Brouwer was left off balance.

It was later revealed that Gimenez had planned this on the spot and this was not pre-planned, he revealed after the game.

The move, however, earned criticism from head coach Arne Slot, who claimed that it could be interpreted as being arrogant.

Feyenoord star on the move

Gimenez has now scored in each of his last two Eredivisie fixtures and has seen his Estimated Transfer Value (ETV) rise to a record €33.2 million at the start of the month.

Gimenez’s focus will be on finishing the season well with Feyenoord, but inevitably transfer speculation will start to increase over him.

Santiago Gimenez, Feyenoord
© IMAGO – Santiago Gimenez, Feyenoord

Under contract until 2027, he has shown himself to have a prolific touch in front of goal but also the type of unselfishness and cleverness that top teams crave.

Prior to the January transfer window, both Real Madrid and Chelsea were interested in the Mexico international, but Feyenoord’s asking price, which reportedly topped €100 million, put them off.

With Victor Osimhen lined up by the Blues and Kylian Mbappe destined for the Bernabeu, it remains to be seen whether either revisits Gimenez, but the Feyenoord is playing well enough to justify interest.

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