Feyenoord sensation Santiago Gimenez is the latest eye-catching prospect to emerge from Eredivisie and could earn a high-profile move to a top European club next summer.
The 22-year-old striker’s remarkable performances in the Eredivisie since he arrived in Rotterdam last year have fueled speculation about his future at De Kuip.
In his debut season for Feyenoord, the Mexican international impressed with 23 goals and three assists in 45 appearances across all competitions.
Despite starting only 21 of 34 league matches, Gimenez emerged as Feyenoord’s top scorer with 15 league goals, playing a pivotal role in their title-winning campaign.
His statistics underwent a notable transformation during his first season at Feyenoord as his shots per 90 minutes nearly doubled, from under three to well over four.
Just seven games into the 2023/24 campaign, Gimenez has already netted ten times, and his performances suggest he is poised to surpass last season’s tally.
The highlight of his season came in a 3-1 victory over Ajax, where Gimenez scored a historic hat-trick, becoming the first Feyenoord player to achieve an Eredivisie away hat-trick in a De Klassieker match.
During the remarkable performance, Gimenez had 32 touches, won nine duels, regained possession for his team five times, completed three take-ons, and created three chances.
The Mexican marksman single-handedly masterminded Ajax’s downfall on their own turf, and his goalscoring prowess is evident in his eye-catching scoring rate.
He is averaging a goal every 55 minutes, firmly establishing himself as one of the most prolific goalscorers across Europe this season.
Gimenez continued his prolific form in last weekend’s victory over Go Ahead Eagles, bagging the third goal as Feyenoord ran out 3-1 winners.
The former Cruz Azul hitman comes alive in the 18-yard area, a characteristic that draws comparison to his compatriot and former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez.
Gimenez has managed more touches in the opposition box (46) than any other player in the Eredivisie this season, with 24.5% of his overall touches coming in the penalty area.
Furthermore, 20 of his 25 shots have been from inside the 18-yard box. Of the 29 players to have mustered ten or more shots, only two have a better conversion rate than the Feyenoord man (36%).
Signed for just €6 million, Gimenez will undoubtedly command a significantly larger fee if the circling heavyweights act on their interest next summer.
A January exit is not beyond the realm of possibility, but Feyenoord would be silly to sanction his departure midway into the season, considering they are aiming to defend their Eredivisie crown.
If Gimenez maintains his remarkable goal-scoring form, a lucrative transfer may be imminent, and we’ve highlighted five potential destinations as leading clubs closely track his progress.
The 14-time European champions refrained from splashing the cash to replace Karim Benzema last summer following the Frenchman’s departure to the Saudi Pro League.
They instead employed the services of Spanish striker Joselu on a season-long loan, and the Espanyol-owned centre-forward has delivered four goals and two assists in eight La Liga outings.
Despite his impressive form, Real Madrid are expected to splash the cash on a headline recruit next summer, with Manchester City’s Erling Braut Haaland reportedly in their crosshairs.
However, Gimenez could end up on the roster of the Spanish heavyweights who have shown a propensity to invest in young talents over the years.
Despite splashing out over £1 billion on new players over the last three transfer windows, Chelsea still find themselves short of a prolific striker.
Summer signing Nicolas Jackson has shown promise, but the jury is still out on the 22-year-old striker who has returned just two goals in eight appearances across all competitions.
Chelsea have struggled for goals this season, rippling the net just seven times – only six sides in the Premier League boast a worse record in the final third than the Blues.
They have created plenty of chances but lack the maturity and cutting edge to take their chances, prompting speculation about the potential arrival of a new striker in January.
Brentford’s Ivan Toney has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, but considering Chelsea’s focus has been on young talents, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Blues launch a proposal for Gimenez.
Arsenal have Gabriel Jesus and Edward Nketiah as striking options yet they have repeatedly been linked with a move for a centre-forward in the winter market.
The Gunners have also been linked with a move for Toney, but Gimenez offers an enticing prospect, and Mikel Arteta’s side could be strong contenders for his signature if he keeps up his impressive form.
Since sanctioning Harry Kane’s €100m move to Bayern Munich in the summer, Tottenham Hotspur have relied on Richarlison and Son Heung-Min to lead the line.
Both players have been solid thus far, spearheading Spurs’ rise to the upper echelons of the Premier League with seven goals between them – although six have come from Son.
Tottenham refrained from making a hasty decision to replace Kane, who was their headline performer for years, but they may have found a potent successor to the England captain in Gimenez.
Borussia Dortmund are among several high-profile clubs that have been monitoring Gimenez’s development at Feyenoord and should be contenders for his signature.
Despite sitting two points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen, Edin Terzic’s side have been less than spectacular this season – although they are still unbeaten.
Dortmund have only managed 12 goals thus far, the least of any side in the top six, highlighting their need for a prolific marksman, and Gimenez could be the answer to their problems in the final third.
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