Ricky van Wolfswinkel winning over the fans at St Etienne
Ricky van Wolfswinkel has taken a major step in winning over some of European football’s most fervent fans as he bids to win a permanent move to St Etienne next summer.
Van Wolfswinkel has scored three goals in his last five outings for Les Verts and his strike, which helped end a 20-year hoodoo against fierce rivals Lyon, has earned the Dutchman hero status among the St Etienne faithful.
French football expert Julien Laurens feels the on-loan Norwich City striker is finally rediscovering his best form after a difficult start in Ligue 1.
“Scoring against Lyon will have done him a lot of good, particularly with the fans,” said Laurens, who is a pundit for BT Sport’s coverage of France’s Ligue 1.
“There is as much hatred between St Etienne and Lyon as there is between Norwich and Ipswich. He was substituted after 73 minutes and left the pitch to a standing ovation. That’s the first time that has happened for him there and the St Etienne fans are particularly hard to please. He will go down in history now as helping to end the curse Lyon had over St Etienne.”
Laurens believes that RvW, who left Carrow Road for St Etienne on loan after an ill-fated spell with the Canaries, hopes to complete a permanent move in the summer.
Laurens added: “It’s a massive club, with a great stadium – they could be playing in the Champions League next season as well. He is not at a small club – he is playing in front of 40,000 fans every other week. It is very attractive to him. From what I’m told he is very happy there. I can see him staying.”
BT Sport broadcasts multiple live matches from France’s Ligue 1 every matchweek, alongside coverage of top European football from Germany’s Bundesliga and Italy’s Serie A together with the Barclays Premier League”