‘I want to buy him!’ – Fortuna Sittard coach impressed by impact of Norwich City loanee
PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:34 10 May 2018
Fortuna Sittard would like to take Norwich City starlet Todd Cantwell back to Holland.
The Dutch club were so impressed with the 20-year-old’s loan spell during their successful promotion campaign that assistant coach Kevin Hofland would even be keen to sign the midfielder permanently.
“The first thing that comes into my head is that I want to buy him!” the former PSV Eindhoven defender said. “But if there is a possibility to get him on loan again, then yes, immediately.”
Cantwell, from Dereham, scored two and created two goals during his 10 games as Sittard finished runners-up in the Erste Divisie to earn promotion to the top flight.
“He’s a young guy, an intelligent guy, has a lot of skills,” former Netherlands international Hofland continued. “He’s a good guy as well, I think that’s important in his mentality.
“He can do a little bit more, he’s a little bit lazy, but I have spoke with him about this and I think he is a young guy with a lot of potential to improve.
“He needs to learn a lot but that is no worry when you are young. From what I saw and the games he played and the way he trained, the way he was as a person in our squad, I can only be positive.”
Cantwell mostly played in a central midfield role, tasked with linking the defence and attack, and curled in the fine free-kick from which Finn Stokkers headed the winner against PSV II which sealed victory and promotion on the final day of the season.
Although he missed five games through injury, he played a key part in Hofland and head coach Claudio Braga picking up the pieces after Sunday Oliseh’s exit in February, winning 10 and drawing four of their games in charge.
“I think the tempo in the second league is higher in England than in Holland, we try to play football also at a high tempo but it is more a tactical game,” Hofland added.
“I think what I can see now is he can do both of them but for him it would be better to play in a team who can play the football that we want to play.
“But even in the second division in England he can improve in something that maybe he can not learn in our second league.”
He continued: “I’ve been the assistant coach for 11 weeks, when we started the project to go for promotion, the guys did the right things and especially Toddy was a very important guy for the team.”
Cantwell is expected to get a chance to impress during pre-season for the Canaries, having made his debut in the FA Cup at Chelsea in January.
If another loan does follow then Hofland accepts it will be a tough task for Sittard to step up to the Eredivisie against the likes of PSV, Ajax and Feyenoord next season.
“Of course, we have to be realistic, we’ve played 16 years in the second division, there have been a lot of problems at the club and when you get promoted it is always difficult but it is nice that we have the challenge again,” the 38-year-old concluded.
“We have to do a lot of things, but I always say that you can buy 10 Lionel Messis but if you don’t make a team you will not finish first. It will be a tough fight for us but we must do it.”