Sport Soccer

Saturday 26 May 2018

Berghuis inspired by Van Persie

Watford's Steven Berghuis, centre, is one of many new arrivals at the club
Watford's Steven Berghuis, centre, is one of many new arrivals at the club

Watford forward Steven Berghuis has revealed that Robin van Persie inspired him to join the Barclays Premier League.

Berghuis became one of many summer recruits to the club's ever-growing multi-national squad when he arrived from AZ Alkmaar for £4.6million in July.

Van Persie, the sole survivor of an influential generation of Dutch Premier League footballers that included Dennis Bergkamp, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Arjen Robben and Dirk Kuyt, left Manchester United for Fenerbahce only days earlier but his influence on the 23-year-old winger remains.

"Of course (I'd like to emulate them)," said Berghuis. "I followed Van Persie the most in my youth, Bergkamp a little bit and Van Nistelrooy. I think Van Persie is my favourite of the three.

"He is left-footed, creative and always tries to show nice things, he's nice to watch.

"I like to play with my left (foot) from the right, and try to create chances. Always playing forward.

"I like to play from the right. At AZ (Alkmaar) when I was playing good it was always from there."

Nathan Ake, who has joined Watford on loan from Chelsea, is another Dutchman in the Hornets' squad.

While at present there are concerns about the limited opportunities available to young Premier League footballers, Berghuis felt he had to seize the opportunity to move to England while the option remained because of a belief that Dutch football is in decline.

"I spoke with (QPR's) Leroy Fer (about the Premier League)," he said. "I spoke with (Middlesbrough's) Dwight Tiendalli also. They all told me I have to (join the Premier League) because it is an amazing competition. And also with my age I think I had to do it.

"In Holland the level is going down and the clubs in other countries don't look a lot at Holland anymore because the level is going down, I think.

"I had an injury last year where I broke my foot, you never know if that can happen again. So I had to take this chance and it is a beautiful club."

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