What happened to… Royston Drenthe?

What happened to… Royston Drenthe?


Real Madrid will rest this weekend due to the international matches. One of the most attractive games is the one between Netherlands and Spain. This article will remember one of the most inconsistent Dutchmen in Los Blancos history: Royston Drenthe.

Drenthe arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer of 2007 as one of the most promising footballers in Europe. Real Madrid signed him from Feyenoord after having played only 34 games in the Eredivise. He had been named the best player of the Under-21 European Championship.

Drenthe won the fans’ admiration with a brilliant goal in his debut against Sevilla, scoring with a shot from 30 metres. However, as time passed, his brightness started to fade away. His minutes of play kept decreasing. Neither Bernd Schuster, nor Juande Ramos, nor Manuel Pellegrini gave him chances, and he started becoming famous for what he did outside the football pitch.

Thus, in 2010 Jose Mourinho decided that it was best to send him on loan for him to gain fitness and show his quality, so he could come back one day to the Santiago Bernabeu. That lead him to Hercules. His first games at the Alicante-based side was spectacular: He brilliantly led the recently promoted team to a win at the Camp Nou against Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona.

However, again his performances went from good to bad and he ended up appearing in the news for his life outside football –he had several traffic incidents, he called a TV reality show to intervene live, he decided to extend his holidays without the club’s permission… That had an influence in Hercules relegation, and he didn’t end in good term with the club’s directors.

Mourinho refused to have him on the squad for the 2011/12 season and he moved to Everton on loan. In England, he was a regular started at the beginning. However, things started twisting around mid-way through the season. Drenthe was absent from training during some time without the club’s permission and David Moyes, Everton manager back then, decided to put him aside.

At the end of the season his contract with Real Madrid expired and Los Blancos, as expected, didn’t offer him an extension. Drenthe had such a poor reputation at that moment that he was closed to retiring because no team was willing to offer him a contract due to his lack of discipline. And he was only 25 years old!

He didn’t get a contract until January 2013, when virtually unknown Alania Vladikavkaz from Russia came to rescue him. His good performances in Russia earned him a contract with Reading, from the British Premiership. He never really succeeded there and at the start of the current season he left on loan to Sheffield Wednesday, where he didn’t settle either.

In January he packed his bags and moved to Turkey to play for Kayseri Erciyesspor, where he’s still showing drops of the quality that once led Real Madrid to sign him.