Eredivisie Star Turned Down Championship Switch

Excelsior winger Couhaib Driouech has told Ziggo Sport that he turned down a move to Championship side Swansea City in the winter window.

The 21-year-old, capped three times at Under 23 level by Morocco, has been an exciting member of the Roodzwarten squad despite their struggles. He has four goals and four assists in the Eredivisie this season, something that attracted serious interest from outside the Netherlands.

However, in the interview, the former Heerenveen youth admitted he turned down foreign clubs in order to stay at the Van Donge & De Roo Stadion. They included Championship side Swansea, Serie A outfit Lecce, and Lorient from Ligue 1.

‘We canceled foreign clubs because we preferred to stay in the Netherlands,” he said. “The clubs came from England, France and Italy. It involved four clubs: Lorient, Swansea City, Como, and Lecce. I did not see that as the right next step.”

It seems the next step could well be a domestic move. PSV were interested in Driouech, but they couldn’t reach an agreement with Excelsior. Feyenoord also showed interest, and despite nothing happening this winter, the player is still hopeful of a move in the summer.

“When a club like that (PSV) comes, you can’t say no. Feyenoord also joined afterward, which suddenly turned into a soap opera. Excelsior did not reach an agreement with PSV because the club could not get a replacement.

“Fortunately, I have faith that it will happen next summer. Maybe not PSV, but other clubs.”

Born in IJmuiden, the winger came through the ranks at Heerenveen but left in 2021, signing a three-year deal with Eertse Division side Excelsior. He helped them to promotion in 2022 and then bagged three goals and three assists as they finished 15th, just above the relegation spots, last season.

They currently occupy the same position in the Dutch top flight, having won just once in 17 league matches. The win came against Heerenveen; naturally, Driouech got the opening goal.

Site Opinion

Driouech’s move to PSV was protracted and fell apart at the last minute. It could have seen him lifting a trophy at the end of the season, but the way things are going, it’s likely he’ll be in a team dropping out of the top flight.

He won’t have won many friends in Swansea by claiming the club is in England, but it doesn’t sound as if he’s keen on leaving the Netherlands right now. His contract is up in the summer, and while ‘Cees’ (as he is known) saw his big move fall through, it seems only a matter of time before he makes another step up.

 

 

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