As per a report from Dutch news outlet Voetbal International, NEC Nijmegen starlet Dirk Proper has turned down “concrete” offers from Brentford and Wolves to sign a new contract with the club.
Brentford have built a reputation in recent years for picking up young European talents and bringing them to Griffin Park to develop them into star players. The likes of Said Benrahma and Bryan Mbeumo are perfect examples but it has been claimed that the Bees have missed out on one young talent.
Dutch youth international Dirk Proper is said to have been a player on Brentford’s radar. They weren’t the only team looking to bring him to England, with Premier League side Wolves also linked.
Now, it has emerged that rather than move to England, Proper has opted to pen a new contract with NEC Nijmegen. Proper is said to have been the subject of “concrete” offers from Brentford and Wolves but instead opted to continue his development in Holland.
Upon signing the new deal, Proper spoke to Voetbal International to express his delight at the contract. He said:
“I am just proud that I can play for this club in the coming years and look forward to playing matches again. It is, of course, the intention that I will make as many minutes as possible in the coming years and help the team to get a lot of points.
“With the interest of other clubs, I have not been very much involved. I am young and I have to make sure that I play a lot, I know that NEC has a good chance. That other clubs are interested just says that both me and NEC are doing well.
“I am convinced that signing up with NEC is a good move for my development. I don’t have that many games to my name yet, so I didn’t think the next step was necessary.”
Proper, 18, has been with NEC Nijmegen for some time now. He signed in 2011 and has progressed through their youth academy. The midfielder has emerged in their first-team picture this season, playing nine times for their senior side.
The youngster can play in attacking midfield and central midfield, impressing in those roles with The Netherlands’ youth sides.
After reportedly turning down Brentford and Wolves, it will be interesting to see if Proper turns out to be one that got away.
In other Brentford news, the Bees are among the sides reportedly interested in an Austrian Under-21s midfielder, with Celtic and Rangers also linked – find out more about that here.