Royston Drenthe was once seen as one of the hottest young prospects in world football. Between 2007 and 2008 the Dutch star won La Liga and and The Spanish Supercopa with Real Madrid as well as the UEFA European Under-21 Championship with The Netherlands. He was also named the Golden Player of the tournament, while playing for the Under 21s he managed nine goals in 29 games and it was this form that led the attacking full back to gain one cap for his national side at the age of 23 in 2010. He also represented the side at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. However; his career has not quite gone to plan in recent years and the 27 year old now finds him self exiled in The Championship
Drenthe was first seen as a Real Madrid star, following a move from Feyenoord where he played 34 times (four times in the Europa League) and got two assists, in 2007 when ,at the age of 20, when he scored a 40 yard drive on his debut against Sevilla as Madrid were runners up in the Spanish Supercup. He went on to play 65 times for Real Madrid in all competitions, including 11 Champions League games, scoring four and getting five assists before moving out on loan to Everton in The Premier League. His record at Goodison Park was even better as he scored four and assisted seven in just 27 games, despite this he was seen as an inconsistent and sometimes lazy player and he was unable to earn a full time contract at Everton, mainly due to a dispute with David Moyes over compassionate leave. It was around this time that he entered a race war by accusing Barcelona’s Lionel Messi of repeatedly calling him a “n**ro”. He joined Russian side Alania on a free transfer, scoring three times in six games all of which came in his fifth game for the club, despite being branded a “great professional and an example for the youth” by his new manager.
Following his departure he joined recently relegated Reading where he struggled to recapture his Premier League form of two years before. He managed 24 appearances, during which he scored twice and assisted just once, in the league. Subsequently Drenthe was not given a squad number by manager Nigel Adkins at the start of the 2014/15 season and was told to leave the club. He joined Championship rivals Sheffield Wednesday on loan on deadline day and should make his debut in Their next league game against struggling Bolton.
Drenthe, now 27, has certainly lost some of the ability that saw him touted as a potential wonderkid as a youngster but there is no doubt that his top level experience will be invaluable to Wednesday and it is no secret that his pace, power and ability to score stunning goals coupled with a deadly cross are all attributes that Championship players will envy.
It is unknown weather he can recapture the kind of form that saw him win La Liga and score in The Champions League. However if the Dutchman can release some of that early potential then he will be a huge presence in The Championship.