The latest version of the story of Douglas Franco Teixeira emerged into the British press this week. The factoid that caught the headlines was Douglas supposedly claiming that he was being chased by five Premiership clubs, including Newcastle, and a bigger club.
The story appeared in the Dutch sports magazine NUsport issue 23. The feature article covers three pages, including one small box covering his potential move to England.
The story was picked up by the UK wires, who handily ran the story along with all the necessary quotations for a plausible story. What really çaptured their imagination was the ‘bigger club than Newcastle’ dimension, hinting at the likes of Manchester United or Arsenal.
He is indeed quoted in the story as saying that there is a bigger club than Newcastle interested in him but the rest of the story needs reading and putting in context to understand what is really going on.
Firstly, the magazine that ran the feature and trailed it to the wires, NUsport, are desperate to get any kind of headline out of what is for them a disappointing and expensive story. They sent a reporter to São Paulo to interview him and the bigger club than Newcastle’ is the only new or interesting twist in the article. So it is understandable that they have saturated the wires with this angle.
Secondly, Douglas says he also wants to travel back to his new club immediately from his holiday in Brazil at end of June. That suggests he is worried about being cup-tied for the Europa League, with FC Twente starting their qualifying in the first round (the old Intertoto Cup) from 1st July.
If he comes back to FC Twente even temporarily, then he must be thinking of Bryan Ruiz who was forced to play FC Twente’s qualifying rounds for the Champions League and then had to sit out Fulham’s Europa League campaign.
Thirdly, he’s making excuses for his poor performance at the end of the season. He argues that the lack of pressure in the Eredivisie led to his concentration wandering and his lacklustre role in FC Twente’s end–of season collapse to sixth.
Another reading of what happened, was his obsession for playing eye-catching football in front of Premiership scouts making him fluff his lines. But that wasn’t just once: since beating PSV 6-2, FC Twente failed to play any satisfactory football again, and Douglas knows he is in part to blame.
He’s chosen to play for the Netherlands rather than Brazil, so doesn’t have any summer internationals to impress in (he doesn’t qualify for the Netherlands until August). In short, he needs to move urgently to play European football this coming season, there’s a question mark over his ability to reach the consistency that English football demands, and he’s not a particularly expensive player given the rapidly weakening Euro.
He is in an extremely weak position to negotiate over a move to the Premiership, where it is only in the last two weeks of the transfer window that players can really have leverage over clubs. Where he ends up depends on how realistic his agent and he are, in their negotiations.
At the right price, and for the right wages, he might be a sensible buy for Newcastle. If he can perform in England then he’ll definitely have resale value, particularly playing for the Netherlands in the 2014 World Cup qualifying and finals.
However, if you can’t motivate yourself at the end of the season to chase a Champions League spot, then I can’t help feeling he won’t fit into the tight-knit group of grafters Pardew has built at the heart of our club.