‘Hurt’ Ricky van Wolfswinkel already looking to a long-term future with St Etienne

On-loan Ricky van Wolfswinkel can already sees his long-term future at St Etienne. Picture by Paul C

On-loan Ricky van Wolfswinkel can already sees his long-term future at St Etienne. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Ricky van Wolfswinkel is looking to a permanent stay in France with his new family – after a season of 'hurt' at Norwich City.

The 25-year-old Dutch striker and City's record signing joined Ligue Un side St Etienne in the summer for a season-long loan, following a torrid debut campaign in the Premier League with the Canaries that ended with relegation.

RVW has two goals in France so far and a £6m permanent switch is in place should St Etienne wish to pursue it next summer.

Van Wolfswinkel said: 'I've played on a lot of stages, in a lot of countries as well. The atmosphere here is exceptional – and I don't say that because I am part of the club. These are probably the best fans I've had the chance to play in front.

'I'm seriously thinking about staying here. I would like to, even though I know things can evolve quickly. But for it to happen, I will need to play well, be important for the team. But I don't see why I would want to go elsewhere. The Netherlands, Portugal, England, France – we've moved a lot and my family feels good here. People are very friendly.'

Van Wolfswinkel and partner Bianca Neeskens became parents for the first time in September, with the arrival of son Djoy Joan.

Van Wolfswinkel told French newspaper Le Progres: 'Before that, you're all alone. The arrival of a child gives a lot of responsibilities. Football is my work – now I must also take care of my family. I love it. I want to succeed to show him the father and the player I am. I want to be an example for him.'

Most Read

The Dutchman scored one goal and created two more in an injury-hit season with Norwich, following an £8.5m move from Sporting Lisbon. He added: 'I did not like my last year in England but I do not think it has slowed my career.

'I was hurt by it. I could not show all my qualities or play every week, plus the team did not practice good football.

'You learn a lot when you succeed. But maybe we learn more when going through a bad period. It happens, and I came out stronger mentally. It's allowed me to target a lot of things I need to do differently.

'I talked to Robin van Persie about Norwich, that is true. He said it was always difficult to face Norwich at home. And they did have a good crowd and a good ground. Nothing else.'

• Follow Michael Bailey on Twitter @michaeljbailey

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter