From Madrid to Hills­bor­ough, Owls new-boy Dren­the aims to im­press

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Jamie Holt

FOR­MER Real Madrid star Roys­ton Dren­the has made a few mis­takes in his ca­reer – but he reck­ons that join­ing Sh­effield Wed­nes­day on loan is cer­tainly not one of them.

The 27-year-old bad boy has wasted chances at the ten-time Euro­pean cham­pi­ons and Premier League side Ever­ton in the past with his off-field an­tics.

As a re­sult he’s swapped life in the Cham­pi­ons League for the Cham­pi­onship since the start of last sea­son, when he joined Read­ing in a shock move from Rus­sian side Ala­nia Vladikavkaz.

The mod­est sur­round­ings of Berk­shire, though, proved no match for the Bern­abeu and the 27-yearold Dutch­man fell out of favour with Roy­als boss Nigel Ad­kins after just a year – much like David Moyes who told him never to re­turn to Ever­ton while on loan in April 2012.

Dren­the’s ap­petite for liv­ing life to the full off the pitch has been land­ing him in hot wa­ter for years.

Take the time, just days after ar­riv­ing in Madrid at the age of 20, when he crashed his sports car into a po­lice cruiser. Or when he was al­legedly filmed rac­ing his Fer­rari while drink­ing.

He’s also been known to storm out of the odd train­ing ses­sion – think mav­er­ick and Mario Balotelli.

But Dren­the says he’s a mis­un­der­stood tal­ent and has vowed to prove Sh­effield Wed­nes­day were right in not be­liev­ing ev­ery­thing they hear.

“I’m an hon­est per­son, I’m not dif­fi­cult, I deal with the sit­u­a­tion as it is,” he said.“I was a player for Real Madrid but I don’t de­mand this, or de­mand that. I’m a nor­mal guy. I don’t feel I de­serve any­thing spe­cial.

No re­grets

“I’m not a se­ri­ous guy, I don’t have to re­gret any­thing I’ve done. Now I’m here at Sh­effield Wed­nes­day I want to do the best I can for the team.”

Dren­the, or Ricky to his mates, orig­i­nally caught the eye of then-Real boss Bernd Schus­ter in 2007 after some phe­nom­e­nal dis­plays for Feyeno­ord and Hol­land U21s, with whom he won the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships.

Yet life in the Span­ish cap­i­tal was al­ways go­ing to be worlds apart for the left-back turned winger, who was born on the tougher streets of Rot­ter­dam to Suri­namese im­mi­grant par­ents.

“Peo­ple find it easy to say ‘You were too young’, but if I came straight from Real Madrid’s youth team, would I have been too young at 20? I don’t think so,” added Dren­the, who cost Real a cool £10m.

“It’s never too quick, I took the chance and I’m glad I did. I al­ways say ev­ery­thing hap­pens for a rea­son. I’m a strong man, when­ever I’ve done some­thing wrong I’ve al­ways made it right again.

“I re­mem­ber the days at Real Madrid like they were yes­ter­day. I learned a lot – you do when you play with the big­gest play­ers in the world. It was a beau­ti­ful ex­pe­ri­ence.

“At this mo­ment in my ca­reer, any­thing is still pos­si­ble. I know what I can do, I need to show all the world what I can do now.

“Peo­ple know my name, and when they think of Roys­ton Dren­the they de­serve a bit of qual­ity, that’s what they ex­pect.

“I think I can still do it, I feel great at the mo­ment.”

While Dren­the and Sh­effield Wed­nes­day ap­pear an un­likely match, the Owls have an im­pres­sive track record of de­vel­op­ing their loan tal­ent.

Eng­land’s hero-in-wait­ing Ross Barkley honed his skills at Hills­bor­ough in a 13-game spell in 2012, while Sun­der­land’s saviour last sea­son Con­nor Wick­ham left South York­shire as re­cently as Jan­uary.

At 20 and 21 the duo may be at the start of their own ad­ven­ture, but Dren­the be­lieves there’s another twist or two left in his.

“I know I have the qual­ity. I have to be­lieve I can re­turn to the top of the game. Ev­ery­one knows what I can do with the ball,” con­tin­ued the Hol­land in­ter­na­tional.

“Ev­ery time you move to a new club it’s a chance. This is another chance for me and I’m re­ally ex­cited to prove what I can do.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

HON­EST: Roys­ton Dren­the on loan at Read­ing

FUN TIMES: Dren­the with Madrid team-mate Cris­tiano Ron­aldo

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