In a beautiful gesture, fans of Feyenoord Rotterdam are crowdfunding to sign on-loan striker Cyriel Dessers from his parent club KRC Genk.
Dessers joined Feyenoord at the beginning of the season and has proven to be the most excellent back up striker a club can ask for. Despite only playing as a substitute for most games in the Eredivisie, his contributions to their UEFA European Conference League campaign has been spectacular.
The 27-year-old Nigerian striker has 10 goals in the competition and as a result, Feyenoord is one foot in the final to compete for the maiden title of Europe's newest club competition.
His loan deal runs up in June and he is expected to return to Belgium immediately. Feyenoord had earlier expressed an intention to sign the striker on a permanent basis but reports claim that their financial situation is holding them back from committing. With the ultimatum given to the Eredivisie club by Dessers' parent club now up, fans have now chosen to take matters into their hands.
A regular Feyenoord fan started a crowdfunding move to raise the €4 million which it will cost to sign the striker and so far, €25,000 has been raised. This will warm the heart of the Nigerian striker, who recently expressed his desire to continue at the club.
“If you score goals at the European level, it makes sense,” Dessers told ESPN. “On the other hand, I think I’m in the right place here. It’s a dream of mine to play for such a big club and do well there. I think everyone can see from me that I am happy and enjoying myself here.”
Feyenoord manager reacts to crowdfunding move
Feyenoord manager Arne Slot has reacted to the grand gesture of Feyenoord's fans towards a striker who has been useful for them in the course of the season.
Speaking with journalists over the weekend, the 43-year-old manager praised the fans but noted that the club may not accept such an offer. He instead called on the wealthier members of the club and the investors to help with Dessers' signing.
“It shows how extremely compassionate these supporters are and how extremely they value him (Dessers) as a striker,” Slot said.
“It is also very nice that more than 25,000 euros have already been deposited, if I understand correctly, that they want to spend their self-earned money on Dessers.
“A really nice move, but it has no chance of success. This is really impossible from a legal, fiscal and regulatory point of view.
“I hope this will be followed by those much more wealthy men.”
Genk are looking to move the striker on as they plan a squad rebuild. Dessers is also a target of a few other clubs who are looking for a brilliant low-cost striker who can not only deputise but star in the attack.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 weeks ago