FEYENOORD KEEN TO HOLD ONTO ELMANDER

They may be in between seasons up there in snow-bound Scandinavia, but that hasn’t stopped the biggest Swedish daily speculating on the future of Feyenoord’s Johan Elmander. Aftonbladet reported Tuesday that Feyenoord was prepared to let the striker leave. Not so, says technical director Rob Baan, ‘because we still expect Johan to return to the Kuip.’ Elmander is currently on loan to the self-styled Pride of Stockholm, Swedish champions Djurgården.

‘What I wanted to say was that the choice of returning or not is ultimately always the player’s. Because you cannot have him return if he doesn’t want to,’ Rob Baan explained Wednesday. ‘That is not the same as wanting to release Elmander. Because Johan will hopefully play as well in his second six months at Djurgården as he did during the first six months. And if he does, we look forward to welcoming him back to Rotterdam at the start of next season.’ ‘I know I have my future in my own hands,’ Johan Elmander said from Sweden. ‘But now is not the time to make a decision. You know, I’d love to return to Feyenoord, but I have to show what I can do here first. Because if I don’t perform in the next six months I’ll return to Feyenoord a nobody. I don’t want that. I want to continue as I started my first six months at Djurgården, so I can return to Rotterdam as a full first-team player. A player the coach can believe in. To do that, I have to focus totally on my performances at Djurgården over the coming period. If they are good, it’ll all come good.’

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