After seeing Roy Beerens join Vitesse, Jaap Stam sacked and Danzell Gravenberch frozen out, Joey van den Berg is one of only two members of Reading’s supposed ‘Dutch Revolution’ left at the club alongside Pelle Clement. But the centre-black slash holding midfielder could be heading for the exit too, with rumours at the start of this transfer window linking him with a move to former club PEC Zwolle.
It comes after van den Berg, who has a year left on his contract in Berkshire, appeared on Dutch television programme De Tafel van Kees alongside Zwolle chairman Adriaan Visser and implied that he may be open to a return to the Netherlands.
However, today Zwolle’s technical director Gerard Nijkamp has today given an interview to Voetbal and suggested that the pair talking together on the show has led to the link being made without any context. He clarified:
“It is not true that we have made him an offer, he still has a contract in England, we can not afford that at all. We all know Joey, and of course he could add value with his experience and attitude, but not at the moment.”
Van den Berg joined Reading on a free transfer in the summer of 2016 from Heerenveen and has gone on to make 68 appearances for the club, scoring twice. He hasn’t made the greatest of impacts, becoming known for his calamitous defending and often reckless tackling. At 32 years old, it seems unlikely at this moment in time that he would sign a new deal next summer, so it may make sense for the Royals to cash in on him whilst they can, representing a profit, instead of letting him leave for free in 12 months time. However, Nijkamp does appear to claim that Joey would need to take a pay cut if Zwolle were to be his next club.
He previously made 81 appearances for the Dutch club between 2010 and 2013, at a time when Jaap Stam was assistant manager.
H/T to Maffff on Twitter for scouring Dutch media for Nijkamp’s quotes.