Sheffield Wednesday: New boy lets feet do the talking

Royston Drenthe
Royston Drenthe
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For the rest of his career, rightly or wrongly, Royston Drenthe is likely to carry around the ‘bad boy’ tag.

After a dream €14 million switch to Real Madrid as a 20-year-old, the Dutch winger has endured a series of troubled times.

Fall-outs with coaching staff at several clubs have seen a once-highly-promising career wane, taking him from one of the biggest stages in the world at the Santiago Bernabéu to plying his trade in the second tier of English football.

And, prior to his deadline-day loan switch to Hillsborough, even a career in the Championship appeared in doubt after he was exiled at Reading following more trouble.

So rather than arriving on a wave of excitement as a former Madrid ace, Drenthe lands at Wednesday with concerns over his temperament.

But one person who certainly does not care about his reputation is the 27-year-old himself.

And he is determined to let his performances on the field do the talking.

“It might sound really weird if I say I don’t care about it, but I don’t care about what people say,” Drenthe told the Star.

“I know who I am and what I’m capable of. I know what I do.

“The people who really know me know how I think about things.

“Some people thing they know me, so they speak about me. But they don’t know me.

“The only way I can prove myself to people is let my feet on the field speak for me.

“As long as I am a footballer I will think this way.

“Then I think I can shut people up.”

The Feyenoord youth-team graduate is keen to put his last year at Reading behind him and focus on the future.

After a promising start at the Madejski Stadium, he found himself on the fringes and this summer was sent to train with the under-21 squad before not behind handed a squad number at the start of the campaign.

He said: “I don’t think much about the past. What happened at Reading is in the past.

“They’re doing their own thing now, they are looking forward to doing well in the league.

“I’m not a Reading player any more so I don’t have to think about it. I have to think about Sheffield Wednesday.

“There are no hard feelings to anybody. I’m not the type of boy to speak about people or speak about Reading.

“I’m a Sheffield Wednesday player and that is what is important.”

The one-time Dutch international comes across as very self-assured and determined.

Though he pays little mind to his reputation, Drenthe admits he always feels the need to prove himself as a player.

And he says the Championship is the best stage to show how good he can be.

He said: “If I prove myself on this level it will be a good thing for me.

“It’s a really strong league.

“This is one of the toughest leagues I have ever played in.

“I’ve played in the biggest leagues in the world but the Championship is really tough.

“It’s not just the amount of games you play in, you just have to be stronger.

“It makes it easier for you if you make the bigger step to the Premier League or La Liga because you have played in the Championship.”

Drenthe is in line to make his Owls debut at Bolton Wanderers on Saturday and insists he is ready to play, despite seeing no match time during pre-season.