Why Wesley Sneijder hasn’t already been snapped up by a big Premier League club is a real surprise, for his figures show the Dutchman as one of the most influential top-class midfielders in Europe right now.
The 29-year-old, a popular character with fans having a punt at betfair, is determined to leave Galatasaray this summer and is flirting with both Chelsea and Manchester City, yet neither club have got their act together and put a genuine bid in.
This may be to do with Sneijder’s ridiculous wage demands – thought to be over £150,000 a week – but his purchase value is so low that shouldn’t really be a problem for these two big-spending outfits.
Despite a nightmare finish to his stint at Inter, Sneijder has rekindled his career at Galatasaray and helped the club win the Turkish Super Lig this summer, scoring four in 16. Betting fans know of his influence in the midfield, for Galatasaray won 69% of their games Sneijder appeared in and just 54% when he didn’t.
From his four appearances in the Champions League for Gala, Sneijder earned a goal and averaged just under two shots on target per game – not a bad yield against a sturdy Schalke back four and Real Madrid’s worldly talents.
Yet it is on the international front that Sneijder really impresses. He impressed football punters and won the midfielder of the year prize at the 2010 World Cup, having scored five goals in seven games, including that magnificent brace against Brazil.
It was Holland’s brash tactics that centred on containing Spain before hitting Arjen Robben on the break that hampered his performance in the World Cup final.
If Chelsea sell Juan Mata this summer, then Jose Mourinho needs an adequate replacement and, although Sneijder has little sell-on value, he will give the Blues three solid years in their attacking unit.
City, meanwhile, are less likely to go for him when you consider their bolstered midfield but big changes could come in at Eastlands if Manuel Pellegrini gets his own way.