Dick Advocaat sounded as pleased as Punch in the quotes attributed to him during the announcement of Sunderland’s signing of Jeremain Lens.
Having worked with the forward twice before during his managerial career, the Dutchman knows full well what Lens will be bringing to the table, but couldn’t help letting his enthusiasm spill over for the rest of the footballing community to hear.
“He is a very well-known player in Europe and has played 29 games for the Dutch national side, which shows his calibre.
“He is fast and has scored goals everywhere he has played so that will help the team,” last season’s survival guru said.
Having shelled out a reported £8m on the 27-year-old and pinned him to a four-year contract, it’s just as well Advocaat is so confident in Lens’ abilities. Especially as the Dutchman’s goals will be expected to help Sunderland stave off another relegation battle, rated at 7/4 with Ladbrokes.
Lens arrives at the Stadium of Light from Dynamo Kiev, where he spent two seasons. In neither did he manage to reach double-figure goal tallies in all competitions – scoring seven times in 41 games in his debut campaign and nine in 37 last term.
If those numbers belie Advocaat’s confidence, then the Oranje international’s time in his homeland should ease any concerns.
Lens secured a move to Ukraine off the back of a healthy final season with PSV, where he scored 19 goals in all competitions and registered 12 assists.
That 2012/13 return was easily the best of his career, but the Amsterdam native proved himself to be a reliable source of goals in his time with the Boeren, reaching double figures in each of the two seasons prior to his breakout year.
16 strikes in 40 games for AZ Alkmaar during the 2009/10 season helped build his current reputation and the forward has found the back of the net eight times since his international debut in 2010.
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