Swansea City signing Joel Piroe taking inspiration from Dutch legend Ruud van Nistelrooy
He was once labelled the next Ruud van Nistelrooy, and was then coached by the Dutch legend. Now, Joel Piroe wants to make his own name at Swansea City.
The striker became the Swans’ second summer signing after arriving from PSV Eindhoven last week, and has linked up with his new team-mates for the first time at the club’s Fairwood training base.
He arrives with plenty of potential, with a hat-trick in the Under-19s European Championships and a brace in the Europa League among his career highlights so far.
His treble for his country in 2017 led to comparisons with former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker van Nistelrooy, whom he would be coached by at PSV.
Now the 21-year-old is looking to realise his potential in the Championship with the Swans, and he looks to do that having learned from one of the best in the business.
“It was a huge honour to be mentioned in the same sentence as van Nistelrooy,” said Piroe.
“He’s a great man who has done great things at Manchester United, PSV, Real Madrid and Holland. I look up to him as a Dutch striker. A lot of strikers in Holland want to be like him.
“He trained me at PSV, and I learned a lot from him. After training, we’d grab a bag of footballs and do all the work of what’s important for strikers.
“It was great to work under him and be compared to him, but hopefully I can make my own name here.”
Piroe scored three times in 14 appearances for PSV, while he also spent time on loan with Sparta Rotterdam as he gained further experience of the Dutch top flight.
Prior to that, Piroe’s potential was highlighted as he found the net regularly for PSV’s youth team in the second tier.
Now he’s got games and goals in his sights for the Swans as he looks to make the most of his opportunity.
“My time at PSV was really good. It’s a big club with big players,” he added. “Everyone knew what we needed to do and the ambitions of the club. I had seven great years at PSV.
“It is a big move for me. I’ve come to a new country and don’t know anyone here yet.
“But I look at my career and the options in front of me, and this is the best place for me.”